2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Homily

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
John 2:1-11
January 20, 2019

Having brought our Christmas season to a close last weekend with our celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, we are now in Ordinary Time.

With the word “ordinary” in the name for this season, it might make it sound like nothing special or plain.  Throughout Ordinary Time, we hear from the gospel stories of Jesus’ public ministry including his preaching, miracle work, and calling disciples.  We should not see these as “ordinary.”

Besides Ordinary Time, there are four seasons in our liturgical year, Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.  These are the most important times of the year for us.  Calling the rest of the year “ordinary” merely signifies that it is not one of those seasons.

In the sense of Ordinary Time not being “nothing special,” we start this season with one of seven great signs written about in John’s gospel.  Jesus changes water into wine and that is certainly something special!

These short eleven verses refer to important parts of our faith.  It reveals Jesus’ mother, Mary, as an intercessor.  They ran out of wine.  As soon as Mary learns of the problem, she takes it to Jesus.  She does the same for us when we seek her intercession, taking our prayers to Jesus.

It also shows Mary as model disciple for us.  She shows complete trust in Jesus when she tells the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”  She does not know what He will do but she knows it will be good.  She is an example to us of trusting Jesus to do what is best.

Jesus changing the water into wine is vital as a sign to us of who He is and of God’s power at work in him.  The changing of the water into wine is a marvelous deed of the Lord.

We must also consider the occasion of the event at which He does this miracle.  He is at a wedding.  This shows weddings to be important events, events as which God is present.  This is foundational to our understanding of marriage as a sacrament.

Jesus’ presence at the wedding in Cana along with the first reading imagery of marriage leads us to the Church’s understanding of Jesus as the bridegroom and the Church as his bride. 

Isaiah wrote this at the end of the Babylonian Exile.  In Exile, many saw the Israelites as “forsaken” by God.  They were left “desolate.” 

Free from exile and returning to their homeland, Isaiah tells them, “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.”

Jesus comes to give his life for the forgiveness of our sins and to reunite us in our relationship with him.  There is nothing Jesus won’t do for us.

When we recognize wedding anniversaries, I refer to marriage as a sign of God’s love for us.  In a world where there is more divorce than in the past, we might not make the connection.  Unfortunately, there are faulty marriages today. I’ve seen it in my own family with my parents among those divorcing.  Sometimes it is simply because of a lack of commitment by one or both spouses.  God’s commitment is perfect.  God is always committed to us.

When I refer to marriage as a sign of God’s love for us, I am referring to marriage as God intends, not the marriages that end in divorce.  God knows we are not perfect but He remains committed to us.

I fear that when marriage ends in divorce, people can lose faith.  When our relationships don’t work out, we might falter in our understanding of love.  Instead of looking to God’s perfect love for us as an example, we might make God out to be like us.  This could result in seeing his love as like our, imperfect.  Thus, one might lose faith.

If you want to know what God’s love is like, if you want to know what our love for God and others is supposed to be like, look at the Cross.  If Jesus’ love for us was not perfect, He would not have been willing to give his life for us.  The only reason Jesus became human is because He Loves us.  He gives his life because He loves us.  Jesus shows us what it means to love.  

Marriage requires sacrifice.

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