Deacon Sil's Word For All Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
Table of Contents
First Reading (Isaiah 62: 1-5)
Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 96: 1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10)
Second Reading (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11)
Gospel (John 2: 1-12)
Homily They Have No More Wine
Prayers of the Faithful
Go To the Table of Contents First Reading (Isaiah 62: 1-5)
For Zion's sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch. Nations shall behold your vindication, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the Lord.
shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem held by your God. No more shall men call you "Forsaken," or your land "Desolate," but you shall be called "My Delight," and your land "Espoused." For the Lord delights in you, and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so shall your God rejoice in you.
Go To the Table of Contents Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 96: 1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10)
Refrain: Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations. 1) Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord; bless his name. (Refrain) 2) Announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; Among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (Refrain) 3) Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and praise; Give to the Lord the glory due his name! (Refrain) 4) Worship the Lord in holy attire. Tremble before him, all the earth; Say among the nations: The Lord is king. He governs the peoples with equity. (Refrain)
Go To the Table of Contents Second Reading (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11)
One and the same Spirit distributes different gifts as he chooses. There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one the Spirit gives wisdom in discourse, to another the power to express knowledge. Through the Spirit one receives faith; by the same Spirit another is given the gift of healing, and still another miraculous powers. Prophecy is given to one; to another power to distinguish one spirit from another. One receives the gift of tongues, another that of interpreting the tongues. But it is one and the same Spirit who produces all these gifts, distributing them to each as he wills.
Go To the Table of Contents Gospel (John 2: 1-12)
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had likewise been invited to the celebration. At a certain point the wine ran out, and Jesus' mother told him, "They have no more wine." Jesus replied, "Woman, how does this concern of yours involve me? My hour has not yet come." His mother instructed those waiting on table, "Do whatever he tells you." As prescribed for Jewish ceremonial washings, there were at hand six stone water jars, each one holding fifteen to twenty-five gallons. "Fill those jars with water," Jesus ordered, at which they filled them to the brim. "Now," he said, "draw some out and take it to the waiter in charge." They did as he instructed them. The waiter in charge tasted the water made wine, without knowing where it had come from; only the waiters knew, since they had drawn the water. Then the waiter in charge called the groom over and remarked to him: "People usually serve the choice wine first; then when the guests have been drinking awhile, a lesser vintage. What you have done is keep the choice wine until now." Jesus performed this first of his signs at Cana in Galilee. Thus did he reveal his glory, and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum, along with his mother and brothers [and his disciples] but they stayed there only a few days.
(Text from Lectionary for Mass, Copyright © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; © 1969, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Go To the Table of Contents Resources
- Catechism: #'s 963-975 (Mary, the Mother of the Church). United States Catholic Conference, Washington, DC: 1994. - God's Differing Gifts. From The Letters to the Corinthians, by William Barclay. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky. 1975. -The Truth About Miracles. From Dynamic Preaching, Seven Worlds Corporation, 310 Simmons Road, Knoxville, Tn. 37922. Visit their web page at - Stick to Your Knitting. From Homiletics, by Dr. Leonard Sweet. Communication Resources, 4150 Belden Village Street NW, Suite 400, Canton, Ohio 44799-6115. - Some Saw Glory, from Pulpit Resource by William H. Willimon. Logos Productions, Inc., 6160 Carmen Avenue East, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076. - The Living Pulpit, 5000 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10471. (Contact them at their web site at http://www.pulpit.org.) - Out of Wine, from Storytelling the Word by William J. Bausch, pp. 113-116. Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, CT: 1996. - No More Wine, from Timely Homilies by William J. Bausch, pp. 113-116. Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, CT: 1990.
Go To the Table of Contents Homiletic Ideas
- We also ought to consider when, where and why this miracle occurred. It occurred at a wedding feast, one of the most joyous occasions in the life of any Jew. It occurred at a simple home in Galilee because our Lord felt compassion on this bride and groom and wished to spare them embarrassment. (Barclay)
- One final observation. John's gospel contains no details of Jesus' birth and, up until this point, there has been nothing said about Mary. In fact, she only appears on two occasions: at Cana and at the cross. Thus, she is mentioned only at the beginning of our Lord's public life and at the end of it. Mary's presence at the beginning and end of this uninterrupted course of events has, therefore, great symbolic meaning. Her intervention at Cana expresses the urgency of the people of the new era, who are impatient to see Christ's glory. Standing at the foot of the cross, she is the symbol of the Church, which recognizes, in the crucified Christ, the Son glorified by the Father, and adores him in silence. In order to attain the fullness of faith, one must become, in some fashion, like John at Calvary, the "son" of this mother of believers. One could say that in order to have God for Father through Christ our brother, one must have Mary for mother. (Days, p.14-16)
- Now John tells us that there were six large water jars in the house which each held approximately twenty gallons. Thus we are talking here about a large amount of water which was changed into wine. Such a large amount of water would be required for the guests because of the strict ceremonial washing prescribed by Jewish law of one's feet upon arrival at one's destination, and of one's hands during a meal.
- Some scholars refer to these past three weeks as the three epiphanies, or manifestations, of Christ: first, Christ is manifested to the Magi, and thus to people of all nations; second, at the Jordan River, Jesus' destiny is manifested to him by the Father; and third, at the wedding feast at Cana, our Lord's power is manifested to his first disciples. For it is believed that this event occurred only a few days after Jesus had called Peter, James, John and Andrew to follow him.
Go To the Table of Contents Homily They Have No More Wine
The theme of wedding or marriage occupies an extremely important place in the Bible; no image has been found that better expresses and symbolizes the union, the joining of life and destiny, ordained by God, not only between male and female, but also between God himself and his chosen people. This image abounds in our first reading. Isaiah says that Jerusalem "shall be called by a new name, pronounced by the mouth of the Lord." The imposition of a certain name is important because it expresses what someone wishes another person to be or become. It actually bestows a certain kind of existence. For example, when a child first says "dada" or "mama", they recognize their existence as their father and mother; in the child's eyes, they become what they are, but what they would not fully be if the child did not name them as such.
Isaiah goes on to say that Jerusalem will no longer be called "Forsaken" because of her infidelity, or "Desolate", that is sterile. She will be called "God's Delight", chosen first before all others, and "Espoused", that is, the bride of God himself. When the Israelites are unfaithful, they are conquered by other nations and scattered. Their pagan conquerors laugh at them and ask them "Where is your God?" But eventually the people repent of their evil ways, God forgives them, and they are freed from their captivity. (1) Our reading concludes with the beautiful verse: "As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so shall your God rejoice in you."
With respect to the gospel, there are some interesting facts of which we should be aware. In Palestine a wedding was a really notable occasion. The wedding festivities lasted far more than one day. The wedding ceremony itself took place late in the evening, after a feast. After the ceremony, the young couple were escorted to their new home. By that time, it was dark and they were led through the village streets by the light of flaming torches and with a canopy over their heads. They were taken by as long a route as possible, so that as many people as possible would have the opportunity to wish them well. (Reminds us a bit of the current custom of driving between the church and reception hall with horns blaring.) But a newly married couple did not go away for their honeymoon; they stayed at home; and for a week they kept open house. They wore crowns and dressed in their bridal robes. They were treated like a king and queen, were actually addressed as king and queen, and their word was law. In a life where there was much poverty and constant hard work, this week of festivity and joy was one of the supreme occasions of one's life. (2)
And what about the significance of the wine? In the Bible, wine, because of all that it symbolizes, is considered to be one of God's most precious gifts. The psalmist says it "gladdens men's hearts" and is elsewhere referred to as a blessing from heaven. It eases the curse that lies over the earth and the labor that goes with tilling the soil. The rabbis used to say that without wine, there is no joy. In fact, in Webster's dictionary, one of the definitions of wine is "something which invigorates or cheers, like wine." For a Jewish feast, wine was essential. So, for the wine to run out at a wedding would have been a terrible humiliation for the bride and groom. (1 & 2) Therefore, once Mary had brought this problem to our Lord's attention, he felt compassion on the couple and saved them from this embarrassment.
So what does all of this mean for us? Well, John's gospel has been called by some scholars the "Gospel of the Holy Spirit", because the Spirit is such an integral part of John's account of our Lord's life. John uses many symbols and metaphors to communicate the idea of spirit. In fact, there are several words for which the reader can simply substitute the word "spirit" in order to find the deeper meaning of the text. Two of those words are "water" and "wine". (3) If we performed this little exercise on the words which Mary first speaks to her Son "They have no more wine", in John's eyes she would be telling him "They have no more Spirit".
Do you ever have times when the wine runs out of your life, when you have no more Spirit? As we celebrate the first Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are reminded that sometimes our lives can seem so very ordinary, like the water in the gospel. Sometimes what we need to do to change our lives is to do something special for someone else; in other words, to allow God's Spirit to enter our lives. Then we can reflect that love to others.
I was on the outskirts of a little Southern town, trying to reach my destination before the sun went down. The old CB was blaring away on channel 1-9 when there came a little boy's voice on the radio line. And he said, "Breaker 1-9, is anyone there? Come on back, truckers, and talk to Teddy Bear."
I keyed the mike and said, "You got it, Teddy Bear."
The little boy's voice came back on the air, "'Preciate the break. Who we got on the other end?" I told him my handle and then he began. "Now I'm not supposed to bother you fellas out there. Mom says you're busy and for me to stay off the air. But you see, I get lonely and it helps to talk 'cause that's about all I can do. I'm crippled and cannot walk."
I came back and told him to fire up that mike and I'd talk to him as long as he'd like.
"This was my dad's radio," the little boy said. "But I guess it's mine and mom's now 'cause my daddy's dead. Dad had a wreck about a month ago. He was trying to get home in a blinding snow. Mom has to work now to make ends meet. I'm not much help with my crippled feet. She says not to worry, that we'll make it all right. But I hear her crying sometimes late at night. Ya know, there's one thing I want more than anything else to see. Ah, I know you guys are too busy to bother with me. But, ya see, my dad used to take me for rides when he was home. But I guess that's all over now since my daddy's gone."
Not one breaker came in on the CB as that little crippled boy talked to me. I tried hard to swallow the lump in my throat but it wouldn't stay down as I thought about my own little boy in Greenville Town.
"Dad was going to take Mom and me with him later on this year. Why, I remember him saying, 'Someday this ol' truck will be yours, Teddy Bear.' But I know I will never get to ride in an 18-wheeler again. But this old base will keep me in touch with all my trucker friends. Teddy Bear's going to back out now and leave you alone 'cause it's almost time for Mom to come home. But you give me a shout when you're passing through and I'll be happy to come back to you.
Well, I came back and said, "Before you go 10-10, what's your home 20, little CB friend?" Well, he gave me his address and I didn't hesitate one second 'cause this hot load of freight was just gonna have to wait. I turned that truck around on a dime and headed for Jackson Street 229. As I rounded the corner, I got one heck of a shock: 18-wheelers lined up for three city blocks. Why, I guess every trucker from miles around had caught Teddy Bear's call, and that little boy was having a ball. For as fast as one driver could carry him in, another would carry him to his truck and take off again. Well, you better believe I took my turn at riding Teddy Bear. And then I carried him back in and put him down in his chair. Buddy, if I never live to see happiness again, I want you to know I saw it that day in the face of that little man. We took up a collection before his momma came home. Each driver said good-bye and then they were all gone. He shook my hand with a mile-long grin and he said, "So long, trucker; I'll catch ya again."
I hit that interstate with tears in my eyes. I turned on the radio and got another surprise. "Breaker 1-9," came a voice on the air, "Just one word of thanks from Momma Teddy Bear. We wish each and every one a special prayer for you, 'cause you just made my little boy's dream come true. I'll sign off now before I start to cry. May God ride with you; 10-4 and good-bye." (4)
I'm sure that this trucker's life was pretty routine, just like many of ours are. But it took doing something special for someone else for him to break out of that hum-drum existence, for him to let the Spirit of Love shine through him to someone else. During this past Christmas season, I have focused many of my homilies on the need for those who are in pain or who are grieving to focus on the needs of others in order to break out of that grief and pain. But this advice is something which needs to be followed in ordinary time too, or the healing process will never begin. And these words are not only for those who are grieving. They are for all of us who may be mired in ourselves and who have no room for the needs of others in our hearts. Won't you let the Lord and the Spirit of his Love into your life and let him change your water into the wine of rejoicing?
1. From Days of the Lord, Volume 6, pp. 11-21. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Mn., 1991. Used with permission. 2. The New Exhilaration. From The Gospel of John, by William Barclay. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky. 1975. 3. Good News, by Rev. Joseph T. Nolan. Liturgical Publications, Inc., 2875 South James Drive, New Berlin, WI. 53151.
4. Teddy Bear, by Dale Royal, Tommy Hill, Red Sovine and J. William Denny. Copyright 1976 by Cedarwood Publishibng. From A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, pp. 73-75, by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla.: 1996.
Go To the Table of Contents Penitential Rite
Lord Jesus, you are the Son of God and the Son of Mary. Lord, have mercy. Christ Jesus, you are kind and merciful. Christ, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you are the source of our wine of rejoicing. Lord, have mercy.
Go To the Table of Contents Prayers of the Faithful
Celebrant: At the request of his Mother Mary, Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana. Therefore, in confidence we ask him to hear our prayers and present them to the Father.
Deacon/Lector: Our response is "Lord, hear our prayer". That the Christian Church throughout the world will be united some day around the one table of the Lord, we pray to the Lord. That the members of the Church will use the many gifts conferred by the Spirit to bring glory to God, we pray to the Lord. That all married couples may grow in mutual love, respect and affection, we pray to the Lord. That as we approach the anniversary of the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion, all mother, fathers and extended families who have lost children to abortion may find peace through the healing power of Christ, we pray to the Lord. That the Lord will welcome all of our deceased relatives and friends into their eternal wedding banquet, we pray to the Lord. For all of the intentions which God knows are in our hearts and which we recall in silence. (Pause) For all of these intentions, we pray to the Lord.
Celebrant: O Gracious God, you continue to work wonders in our time. Help us to welcome your Spirit of Love into our lives and reflect that love to others. We ask this in the name of Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen.
Deacon Sil Galvan Copyright