Sunday, January 10, 2016

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - January 17, 2016

First Reading Commentary
The word "espoused" is used here to show the relationship of God and His people – and prophetically His Church.  He, our Builder, shall marry us and He will also rejoice in us.  Using the imagery of a marriage shows how much God loves His people since by the Almighty's own Law the bond of marriage is indissoluble. 

Notice the other examples used to describe what we mean to Him: He refers to us as a glorious crown, a royal diadem, and His delight; we are set aside as His very own.  There have been many infidelities on man’s part throughout human history, yet our Lord refuses to permanently walk away from us and leave us desolate and forsaken.  His love for us is so strong, so far beyond our comprehension that He gave His only Son for us.  He did this so that we may behold and experience His perfect Love for all eternity.
Second Reading Commentary
This Reading gives us a really good blueprint of the Mystical Body of Christ.  We are able to have a better understanding of what it means to be members of that One Body.  This Reading reminds us that to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.  Not all of us possess the same gifts; our gifts are different according to God's plan for us.  The benefit of these gifts is not meant for our own gain but for the good of the entire Body.  Therefore, the gifts that are given to us as individuals are meant to be shared with the rest of the Body. 

When we hear God's call and are able to discern and recognize our gifts, then we and our gifts become a working Body part.  If you think you don't know what your gifts are, as a disciple of Christ, it's likely that your gifts are being utilized anyway.  All of these gifts, regardless of how they are distributed, are produced by One and the same Spirit.
Gospel Commentary
Like most Scripture stories there is much more going on than what is clearly defined in the story itself; and this Gospel is no exception.  What is clear is that the changing of water into wine is the first of many miracles to be performed by Jesus in His public ministry.  And so it is evident that this Man called Jesus is something more than an ordinary man. 

The Church teaches us that this Gospel has something to offer for the Sacrament of Matrimony since the setting is a wedding.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church reads: "On the threshold of His public life Jesus performs His first sign — at His Mother's request — during a wedding feast.  The Church attaches great importance to Jesus' presence at the wedding at Cana.  She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ's presence" (CCC 1613). 

The Church next shifts our attention to Mary's role.  The Catechism also reads: "The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith.  At Cana, the Mother of Jesus asks her Son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another feast — that of the wedding of the Lamb where He gives His Body and Blood at the request of the Church, His Bride.  It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the Cross, that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the true Mother of all the living" (CCC 2618). 

The headwaiter says: "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now."  Our "now" occurs at every Mass.  During the preparation of the gifts the inferior wine is brought to the altar.  At the Consecration the inferior wine is changed into something far superior: Jesus' own Precious Blood. 

If we knew nothing about Jesus, this Gospel begins to show us what we can expect from Him.  We see Him as Man in the sense that He is among family and friends taking part in the normal occurrences of life, in this case a wedding.  We also see Him as God in the miracle of changing water into wine.  But also, and perhaps more importantly, we see His divine involvement in the lives of others.  Mary asks for this miracle and her prayer is answered and the guests receive the good wine.  The headwaiter's prophetic statement is said under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus walked the earth at the time of this wedding feast and throughout the Gospel stories; but we know that there would come a time when He would no longer walk among us physically; but He would still be present to us not only in the Eucharist, but also, as this Gospel and other biblical stories show us, through the lives of others.  If we are truly one in the Body of Christ, then this Gospel, right at the beginning of Jesus' public life, teaches us how much care and attention should be given to each other.  Our willingness to be temples of the Holy Spirit opens the floodgates for us to be possible instruments of divine revelation for each other.  What is our Lord saying to us through the words and deeds of others?