January 20,2019: The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Associate Pastor’s Corner
Last weekend we had the privilege of listening to Bishop Robert Christian, O.P., preach. In his homily, he mentioned the three epiphanies or revelations of the Lord’s presence in our midst: the arrival of the Magi, the Baptism of the Lord, and the Wedding at Cana, today’s Gospel story. Three distinct yet interrelated instances where the Lord’s presence had been manifest to us in an obvious way.
- The arrival of the men from the east, where it is proclaimed that Christ is King of all nations.
- The Baptism of the Lord, the proclamation that Jesus is God’s Son, as well as the revealing of the Most Holy Trinity.
- Finally the Wedding at Cana where Jesus is declared divine by the changing of water into wine.
In these threefold revelations, we are taught many things. When we contemplate the Wedding at Cana, we see how God loves us and what God wants for us. You see, when it comes to the Gospel of John, almost everything is symbolic. So what is the symbol of the changing water into wine?
Wine is a symbol of joy. So many times within our culture, when we want to celebrate, we do so with beer and wine. In major events in our lives such as weddings, baptisms, job promotions or ball games, there is alcohol; there is wine. For those of us who have attended a Passover Meal or the Seder Meal, the time when the Jewish people memorialize the joyful release of Israel from Egypt’s grasp, we remember well the drinking of four glasses of wine. Wine is a symbol of joy.
When Jesus transformed the one hundred and eight gallons of water into wine, Jesus wanted to party. He wanted this wedding reception to be overabundant with grace and joy.
This is what Jesus wants for us, an overabundance of grace and joy.
This is why I find so much comfort in our first and second readings today. With the first passage from the Prophet Isaiah, the reading reminds us of God’s everlasting care. He will never forsake us. He will never abandon us. We are never alone. In the second reading, we are reminded how we are never alone. That through our very baptism, we have been given charisms or gifts, in order to find joy for ourselves and healing for others. Those of us who have taken the Called & Gifted Workshop or are participating in the Discernment in Depth series on Monday evenings, you know of that feeling of fulfillment, that tinge of joy, that brush with healing when we live within the realm of our charisms.
Jesus wants an overabundance of joy to overwhelm us. Through the charisms, He shows us ways in which we can live a life of joy. In that life of joy, we find His presence in everything that we do. We are never alone. Rather, we are always in His presence and He in ours, a life of joy, comfort, and peace.
Please keep Fr. Michael and Fr. Justin in your prayers as the Provincial Chapter continues. We also pray for the Spirit of Wisdom upon Fr. Christopher Fadok, O.P., our new Provincial of the Western Dominican Province.
~Fr. Isaiah Mary Molano, O.P.