January 16, 2022 – Second Week in Ordinary Time

Jan 17, 2022 | Blogs, Fr. Luke, Homilies

“Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.”  Words from our Gospel today from the 2nd chapter of the Gospel according to St. John – sisters and brothers, may the Lord give to you his peace and his joy.

 You know the reason why they ran short on wine at the wedding feast in Cana was because Jesus invited 12 extra people who ended up crashing the wedding!  Not only was the wedding planner furious at running short, then they put these 30-gallon jars in the middle of the dance floor – Oy vey!  So, I was in the Wild Horse Wine and Spirits Store the other day in the Plaza right over here and the re-arranged the store a little bit after the holidays but some of the labels didn’t seem to match up to what was now on the shelves there.  On the shelf labelled water, there was a whole batch of brand-new wine.  All I could conclude was that Jesus must’ve stopped by earlier. 

 In all seriousness, when I was in the seminary, I had the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  While our group was there, we stopped at the town of Cana in Galilee.  Truth be told, it’s not the same historical site in which Jesus performed his miracle in the Gospel today.  A few decades after Jesus’ passion and death on the cross in Jerusalem, the Jews began revolting against the Roman occupation of their country.  This prompted the Roman army to step in, and in order to crush the uprising, they in turn destroyed several small towns, among which was Cana.  With the town in shambles and the water source rendered completely unusable, the new town of Cana was rebuilt a few miles down the road by a new well.  It might interest you to know that the inhabitants did manage to preserve several items, including the same stone jars for the ritual washings referenced in the Gospel today, and they brought them to the new town of Cana. 

 As our group gathered around the large stone jars and our tour guide explained their importance, he pointed out that the turning of water into wine in these very jars might simply be considered one of Jesus’ greatest miracles.  That’s not to diminish Jesus’ power to restore health, or manipulate the weather, nor even to multiply food for thousands to consume.  But in the minds of Jesus’ contemporaries in the ancient world, miracles similar to these have occurred before in their history and were recorded in the Old Testament.  What is truly significant about the turning of water into wine, however, is that it brings something entirely new into being, something rather distinct from the old, thus demonstrating a complete control over creation… such a power belonged only to the Creator, God himself.  In performing a miracle like this, he didn’t just show that he was working for God, or with God, or that he had God on his side, but more importantly, Jesus revealed something of his divine nature.  His divine glory, ‘the glory as an only begotten son of God,’ was made known.  Jesus had already attracted a few disciples, but from this point on, as noted in the Gospel, his followers began to believe in him as more than a prophet, indeed as the Son of God himself, describing his miracles with awe: “we have never seen anything like this.” 

 That Jesus did this (quote/unquote) “as the beginning of his signs,” means that many more signs and wonders were yet to be accomplished, indeed are still being accomplished today, even in our midst.  Jesus’ glory is being manifested today through his Holy Spirit working in us. 

 I hope that all of us realize that Christianity is about so much more than being a nice person or having a heart of gold or doing the right thing as important as those are.  A Muslim, a Buddhist, an atheist could be all those things.  What does it mean to be a Christian?  What does it mean to be a disciple?  It means to be grafted onto Christ.  It means to share in his very being.  To become a member of his mystical body.  To participate in the relationship that he has to his Father.  To share in the divine life.  At the heart of Christianity is not just moral goodness, as important as that is.  At the heart of it is divinization.  Becoming a sharer in his divine life.  To share in the relationship between the Father and the Son is to be in the Spirit.  That is what it means to have a spiritual life.  And to all of us some manifestation of the Spirit is given, some of that divine glory is to be revealed through us…  St. Paul goes on to describe in our second reading today how some of us reveal this glory through wisdom or knowledge or faith or gifts of healing or mighty deeds or prophecy or discernment or tongues or interpretations, and this list of gifts and works and ministries is not exhaustive.  When people see us using the graces given to us, it is God who is being made manifest in our midst and revealing his glory.  How life-giving it is to hear wisdom from our grandparents and to have the help of discernment and guidance from our friends as we make our way through life!  How many prayers have been answered through the gift of healing by a doctor!  Oh, how wonderful it is that we have used God’s gift of knowledge for the care of creation and betterment of our lives and world!  The mighty and beautiful accomplishments of others fill us with inspiration and awe!  God is glorified when his word is proclaimed and made known and the truth is spoken to power.  Indeed, God’s glory is made known through all these things. 

 “All these manifestations of the spirit are given for some benefit,” St. Paul declares.  To this point, the world has had its share of inferior wines.  But now the hour has come.  Let us give good wine and so reveal the glory of God in the context of our lives that others might believe, so that all glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end.  Amen!

Reading I

Is 62:1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
   for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
   and her victory like a burning torch.

Nations shall behold your vindication,
   and all the kings your glory;
you shall be called by a new name
   pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,
   a royal diadem held by your God.
No more shall people call you “Forsaken, “
   or your land “Desolate, “
but you shall be called “My Delight, “
   and your land “Espoused.”
For the LORD delights in you
   and makes your land his spouse.
As a young man marries a virgin,
   your Builder shall marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
   so shall your God rejoice in you.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10

R. (3) Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
            sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
            among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
            give to the LORD glory and praise;
            give to the LORD the glory due his name! 
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Worship the LORD in holy attire.
            Tremble before him, all the earth;
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
            He governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Reading II

1 Cor 12:4-11

Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
same Spirit;
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

Alleluia

Cf. 2 Thes 2:14

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    God has called us through the Gospel
    to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jn 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
“Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them,
“Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
— although the servers who had drawn the water knew —,
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.