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SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME C


cappie

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Jesus’ first sign that inspired his disciples to believe in him was not healing a sick person, bringing someone back from the dead, forgiving sins, or exorcizing a demon. It was making  about one hundred fifty gallons of wine, making a party last longer but maybe it’s not about Jesus loving a good party, although by all accounts he did. He often got in trouble for sharing table fellowship with the wrong kind of people.

And maybe it’s not just trivial, or the evangelist John wouldn’t have used one  the word—“sign”—for it. The other things John calls “signs” that Jesus did include healing the sick, raising people from the dead, feeding a multitude on five loaves and two fish, and appearing, resurrected from the dead, among his amazed disciples. So “signs” are important, reality-shifting events. As a “sign,” what does turning water into wine point to? What makes this wine so important?

A wedding or another big family celebration then  was a time for good wine, a time to spend money on the rarer things of life, to share food and drink that was special, not everyday. Wine was something connected with special times and celebrations, it was a great sign in the Bible of the heavenly banquet.

Furthermore, as we heard in our first Reading, a symbol of God’s joy over God’s people, of God’s deep love for people, is a bride and a bridegroom and the delight and rejoicing they share, like at a marriage celebration.

So, when Jesus makes litres  of wine at a wedding reception, it is a sign­, pointing to the scriptural promises that God will bring all people to God’s own self, that God will pour down God’s love and the abundance of God’s joy on all people, that the perfection that lies in God’s great future is real. But more—that the future abundance and grace and joy has begun in Jesus Christ. The future is now, the glory and grace and love of God are available now.

That’s why turning water into wine is the first of the signs Jesus did, and the rest of the signs follow. It’s saying, God’s future has begun in Jesus.  

God’s future is available now. In the present. In this life. We don’t have to wait to experience hope. And we can trust that God will keep God’s promises for the end of time, because Jesus already brought the possibility of joy and hope and new life now, even into this world. Perfection is not yet fully present; perfect wholeness still lies ahead. But trust Jesus—God will keep God’s promises. God’s future has already broken into the present in Jesus.

So, how do we participate in this new life, available now?

Mary gives the answer: do whatever he tells you. Seek life at its source, joy at its source. Seek to know what Jesus Christ asks of you. This is the essence of discipleship. This is the key: do whatever he tells you.

Notice that the people who knew where the water turned into wine had come from, the people who grasped firsthand, who saw with their own eyes the amazing thing happening were the servants. The ones who did what Jesus told them to do. The servants got to witness a miracle.

And they got to participate. They got to have a hand in Jesus’ first sign. They just did what Jesus told them to do. They just do the simple, straightforward things Jesus tells them to do and they get to participate in a miracle.

Do whatever Jesus tells you. Water becomes the finest wine. The mundane becomes miraculous.

Jesus tells us all some very simple, straightforward things to do,: love, share, give, serve, listen, learn, worship, pray.

God even gives us particulars, contexts and jobs and families, a community, and a church family in which to be obedient. Love him. Love her. Love them. Share your money, your time, your particular gift, your ability with that child, with that elder, with that family. Worship with this parish family. Pray at your desk, at your bedside, with your teenager, for your spouse, your partner, your parent, this world. Listen for what Jesus tells you to do. Do it. You may participate in a miracle, you may get a glimpse, a sign of God’s perfect future, a sign of God’s heavenly feast, even right here, right now.

 

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Thank you, Father - missed your homilies while on assignment.

Would LOVE to be active in parish family again. But they don't want me - I have a mental illness. The 'sign' read "Good socially acceptable Catholics ONLY need apply"

In Elizabeth - homeless, mentally ill, prostitutes, addicts, crims and dealers, Gay people, immigrants, Aboriginal people, different races and religions, creeds were all welcome. For those in financial stress, I took in ironing 5 - 6 days week to keep works of Bethany afloat. No shiny car, holiday, nothing and I was happy to be poor and with REAL people. Some took advantage of cost only board to stay in Bethany while sorting out problem(s). Not that board money showed up at times. I give to African humanitarian crisis and plan to give to help save our koalas who face potential extinction.

Fed up with the BS!

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