January 16, 2022 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
If you enjoy a good glass of wine or two, you can really appreciate today’s gospel.
- Jesus takes the simple element of water and changes it into the exhilarating taste of good wine.
- Water is necessary for life, but wine brings joy.
Picture that you are at the wedding feast.
- Imagine what must have been going on in the mind of the wine steward.
- As the wedding feast begins after the exchange of vows, food and wine are served.
- Initially, there seems to be lots of wine and the guests are enjoying themselves and having a good time.
- Then as the day turns into evening, you notice that the wind is running short and before long it is gone.
- This could prove to be a disaster for the wedding and great embarrassment for the family of the bride.
- Then a young rabbi from a neighboring village of Nazareth tells you to fill up six large stone water jars.
- They are not for wine, but for ritual purification.
- This is no small task since the jars hold around 30 gallons of water each and you have to go back-and-forth to the well with buckets of water to fill them up.
- This takes a while but you complete your task.
- The teacher then tells you to do something strange.
- He tells you to draw some of the water out and bring it to the steward in charge for tasting before it is served to the guests.
- You know it’s water because you put it in there yourself.
- Imagine how bewildered you would be by such a command.
- However, you do it.
- As you walk across the courtyard toward the head waiter you turn around and noticed Mary and Jesus standing by the stone water jars.
- They motion for you to keep going.
- You hand the cup of water over to the head waiter expecting to be scolded.
- What a surprise! He tells you, “how clever, you chose to serve the best wine last. Usually people serve the best first and then once people have had enough they serve the cheaper wine. I commend you!”
- This is an astounding miracle! Jesus with his divine power effortlessly changes gallons of water into gallons of wine.
- To appreciate the extent of the miracle, realize that each of those jars contain 30 gallons.
- There are six of them.
- If you do the math, you will realize that water into wine produces over 150 gallons of wine. Imagine that!
That miracle of Jesus showed forth his glory so that his disciples made believe in him.
Story of elderly man
Sign of God’s power
This is Jesus’ first miracle or as Saint John calls it a sign.
- It is a sign of the coming of God‘s kingdom and the revelation of God‘s power.
- God created all things and can do all things.
- Frequently God displays his power and care in the most unexpected ways.
- If Jesus can turn water into wine, there is very little that he cannot do.
- God cares for each of us in a most spectacular and personal way.
It reminds me of a story goes something like this:
Once there was an elderly gentleman who volunteered to build some crates to hold clothes that his Baptist Church was sending to an orphanage in China.
- When he finished building the crates, he helped pack them full of clothes and load them onto the truck.
- On his way home he reached for his glasses which he believed were in his pocket.
- Somehow the glasses had fallen out of his pocket and end up in one of the crates on the way to China.
- The old man had very little money and was unable to replace his new glasses.
The little guy was upset and thought to himself, “here I am trying to do something good to help others and now I have no glasses. It doesn’t seem fair.”
Director of orphanage
Several months later the Director of the Chinese orphanage came to speak at the little church.
- He began by thanking people for the shipment of clothing.
- However, he said, “I want to thank you for the glasses that you sent me. I was desperate and had no money and there was no way I could purchase my glasses that were destroyed by the communists”
- “How surprised I was when I open the crate and found a pair of glasses. The amazing thing is that when I tried them on, it seemed as though they had been custom made for me. I want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart”.
- People were a little confused because they knew there were no eyeglasses put in those crates.
- However, the little guy in the back of the room sat there with tears streaming down his face.
- At that moment he realized that God in his goodness and power had worked a miracle.
Conclusion—Do whatever He tells you
God, who has the power to create the universe and turn water into wine provided sight for a man thousands of miles away.
- God cares for each of us in a real and personal way.
- The gospel ends with some excellent advice from the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- She tells the chief steward who is in charge of the wine, “do whatever he tells you.”
- Actually, these are the last recorded words of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Scriptures.
- Mary tells us the same thing: “Do whatever Jesus tells you.”
- In the gospel the steward in charge of the wine surrenders to Jesus.
- As long as he was in control there was no wine only water.
- He could never have provided enough wine for the guests by his own efforts.
- Once he does what Jesus tells him, God‘s power is manifest.
- The Blessed Mother tells us that we too, must relinquish control and do what Jesus tells us.
We were made for abundance of life.
Here is the gospel challenge for this week. Set aside 10 or 15 minutes.
- Ask Jesus to come into your hearts as you spend this time with him.
- Find a quiet place and remove the distractions.
- Once you are aware of Jesus’ presence, ask him, “what is it that you want for me?”
Listen! Then, do whatever he tells you.
In the series entitled. “The Chosen,” about the life of Christ, at the end of the episode which portrays the wedding feast of Cana, one of the characters observes, “God always gives us more than we need!”
- God is there for us.
- He is a God of abundance.
- His miracles are the signs of his presence and care.
- So, don’t be afraid and do whatever he tells you!