Saturday, January 16, 2010

Being Invited and Saving the Party

(2nd Sunday, C)

We arrive, brothers and sisters, at the start of another cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time, and for this beginning we hear from St. John the beginning of Jesus’ “signs.” The account of the wedding at Cana is so full of spiritual truth and good news for us that a preacher might hardly know where to begin. The story speaks not only of the gospel of Jesus’ compassion and humility, but also of the exciting news of the possibility of transformation and new destiny that all creatures have in Christ. So for fear of preaching forever, I’ll limit myself to two points of good news for us today.

First, we shouldn’t miss the simple truth that Jesus accepts invitations. Jesus was invited to the wedding, and he showed up. That’s good news for all of us, because we can be confident that if we invite the presence of God in Christ into our lives, our prayer, and our troubles, we can be assured that Jesus will be there. Jesus accepts invitations. His disciples accept invitations too; they too were at the wedding. So if we wish to be disciples of the Lord we have to be ready to accept the invitations we receive to enter into the joys, griefs, and chaos of others. To be unmoved by the suffering of others or unable to rejoice in the joy of another is an almost certain sign of sin.

Second, Jesus saves the party. Why didn’t his hapless couple have enough wine? Poverty? Poor planning? Too many wedding crashers? We don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Jesus (at the invitation of his mother we might add) saves the party by providing new wine. Jesus saves the party so that the newlyweds and their guests may rejoice on this most special occasion. Jesus makes up for their lack, whatever it was, so that their joy could be full.

So it is with us, brothers and sisters. We must never fear our own lacking in what we need to be faithful to God or to flourish in the vocations God has given us. The sign Jesus works today shows us that if we seek the presence of Jesus Christ and the intercession of his mother, whatever way we lack can be an opportunity for the revelation of the glory of God through Christ. So if we ever feel that we don’t have what we need, let us turn to Jesus through Mary and we will soon find that our lack is changed into the glorious and superabundant grace of God. The water not only became wine, but the best wine. If we invite Jesus into our lives we can be assured that our souls too will blush into the new wine that gives joy to the heart. May the same transforming grace come upon every place in our hearts and lives where we feel dull, tired, and plain, so that the joy and delight of God himself might shine through us, making each of us into revealers of the Father’s glory.


Benedicta said...

Thank you Father for reminding us to invite Jesus not only in time of needs but every moment of our lives. I always tell Him to show me the sign of what to do if I am doubtful of my decisions.

4narnia said...

thanks for sharing your great homily, Fr. C! you're right - there's so much GOOD NEWS in all of the readings for this second Sunday of Ordinary time. inviting Jesus into our entire being (heart, soul, mind, body) and truly putting Him first makes all the difference. and, using our gifts for the common good, as it tells us in the second reading from St. Paul to the Corinthians, is a very important and necessary thing. during the Christmas season, someone shared what the word "JOY" stands for: "Jesus; Others & You." PEACE! ~tara t~

ben in denver said...

I really like the imagery you have drawn out here about the invitation to Jesus.

You may want to use this same language to address those in irregular marriages who you were discussing on your blog recently. You may wish to let them know that unless they they too invite Jesus to participate in their own marriages, then they may also be without wine.

Brother Charles said...

That's a great connection, Ben!