Homily - Homily for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C. 20-01-2019 by Fr. Lubem, osj.

20 January 2019 

Homily for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C. 20-01-2019 by Fr. Lubem, osj.
First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm: Psalm 96:1-3,7-10
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Gospel: John 2:1-12

The message of hope presented by Isaiah the prophet in our first reading today, centres around the unconditional love of a married spouse for his wife who constantly disappoints him. We today as Christians, children of God who have experienced the desolation caused by sin have betrayed Christ in many ways when we turn to seek happiness in other ventures other than God. And even then, God neither punishes us, nor leaves us, but continues to make us faithful with His own unfailing love since we are married to Him.
How many of us today will do same in this age that we have built taller buildings, skyscrapers but have shorter tempers? Many of us are quick to loudly condemn in a judgemental fashion those who have conspicuously fallen short of expected standards of good moral conduct, but we ourselves are caught up in the web of the same vicious circle. What do you do with your unfaithful spouse; husband or wife? We may be unfaithful but God is always faithful, yet God as the spouse of the unfaithful Jerusalem that is forsaken and desolate, loves her unconditionally since He is married to her for life and cannot be separated. This tells us that marriage is a life commitment, and divorce is not part of God’s plan. So God does not love His spouse Jerusalem because of her beauty, rather He makes her beautiful by His undying love for her. This unconditional love of God for us is what Christ demonstrates in the gospel reading of today from John 2:1-12, by turning water into wine, thereby manifesting abundantly His glory at a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.
The turning of water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana opens up not just the second chapter of John’s gospel, but the second part of the gospel of John – the book of signs. The first part being chapter 1 is the prologue, the second part is the book of signs, and begins from chapters 2 to 12, while the third part is the book of glory, from chapters 13-21. And the evangelist John clearly designates this action as a sign. What is a sign? A sign is an indicator, and it is used for communication. A sign can communicate to you about someone/something or tell you the location of a place by way of providing its address like a sign post. For example, the church sign post communicates to us the location of the church building, a traffic sign communicates to us when to stop, when to move, and the direction to take when we decide to move. If John calls this ‘miracle’ of turning water into wine a sign, then it means that certainly this action tells us something about the person of Christ. And what does it reveal about Christ?
In the book of Exodus 19:14, after Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, He told the people that God had promised to manifest Himself to them on the third day. And in verse 16; on the third day God manifested Himself through peals of thunder and lightening, and a thick cloud; and Moses led the people to meet God at the foot of the mountain. The wedding feast at Cana today also took place on the third day, and Jesus manifested His glory there. This means that it is the same God who manifested Himself at Mount Sinai that has come closely to assume human form and be manifested in the person of Christ the incarnate word. And when Mary makes the request of Jesus and He responds by calling her ‘woman,’ He evokes the sense of the first woman (Eve), who led to the fall of humanity; that this new Eve (Mary) will bring about our salvation in Christ. That is why the six jars of water used for purification are short of one to complete seven, lacking perfection, and Jesus brings perfection when He transforms them from water being used for symbolic washing, to wine that is being changed into the Blood of Christ at consecration, that we share to give us life at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb which is the Eucharistic table. This action of Christ is therefore a sign that He is the new bridegroom who will wed the entire humanity, and by giving us new wine He shows that ‘He has come to give us life, life in abundance (John 10:10).’ Because it is only life that is a cause for abundant joy, and this is the kind of joy He brought to the bridegroom when He saved the couple from embarrassment. He is ready to save us too, not just from embarrassment but most importantly from the evil of our sins if only we are ready to do whatever He tells us. But it is only with faith that we can be disposed to do whatever He tells us. Are you ready to do whatever He tells you? Remember that ‘…obedience is better than sacrifice…’ (1 Samuel 15:22). May the Lord dispose us to readily carry out His will in any situation we find ourselves, no matter how unpleasant and discomforting it may be. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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