Saturday, January 19, 2013

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Readings: Is 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11

New relationship and transformation, marriage, bride and bridegroom are some of the key words that help to unlock the message of this Sunday. A call to something new and the manifestation of the Spirit through a variety of gifts are the themes that emerge from the readings of this Sunday. As we begin the Ordinary Time of the Year, the readings remind us of some themes we heard over the Christmas season. At Christmas we celebrated a new era that God inaugurated through the birth of Jesus. The readings help us this Sunday to see the characteristics of this new era through the manifestations of the Spirit in the Christian community and in our lives. We are led to realize that these manifestations are brought about by the variety of Spirit-filled ministries intended to be the source of Christian unity and not of fragmentation or division. One overarching theme this Sunday is renewal. In the first reading, Isaiah uses poetic metaphors that point to the renewal of God’s people. In that call for renewal, God promises to give his people a new name: “My Delight”. The Lord will espouse you; make you his bride and delight in you as a bridegroom delights in his bride. That marriage metaphor describes a new relationship with God that transforms our humiliation and setbacks to exaltation and joyful triumph. All that newness is from God, who creates a new people; a new land out of desolation; a  new Spirit-filled community.

In the Gospel passage, the miracle of changing water into wine by Jesus, is a metaphor for the transformation the world realized in the proclamation of the kingdom in the ministry of Jesus, that now begins publicly. The Church has traditionally seen this first sign by Jesus as the fourth manifestation in sequence since Christmas, Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord, which is followed by the story of Marriage of Cana. In this event, God reveals again in what Jesus does at the marriage scene. He works this first miracle in order to give a temporal favor, an earthly gift to save a newly married groom from embarrassment. This miracle is also a self-manifestation of who Jesus is, while at the same time showing His ability to bring about something new. Just as He can change water into wine, similarly He can change our past into a different future; our talents into wonderful gifts for the Church. Some pilgrims have been to Cana, but one does not have to go to Cana to know the transforming power of Christ in our lives. Here in the Eucharistic celebration Jesus can give us the power of His grace to transform our past into a different future, infused by God’s life. Here at this celebration, Jesus can make the ordinary things of our life into reservoirs of extraordinary grace. So what message do we take home this Sunday? 1) The marriage metaphor in the first reading describes a new relationship with God that transforms our lives and makes us new people. 2) Jesus is capable of transforming our past into a different future infused by God’s life. 3) The transformation of water into wine, points to the mystery of the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaims and brings into realization in His ministry.

©2013 John S. Mbinda

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