The Lord, The Miracle In Our Timeline | Word from the Shepherd No. 162

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time | Year C
Isa. 62:1-5; 1Cor. 12:4-11; Jn. 2:1-11

What do most people dread? A lacklustre event! Boring liturgies! Stifling fellowships! Church ministries that are not life-giving?

A wedding feast like all celebrations, is a human party, symbolising love. It Is biblical image and a definitive expression of communion – the communion of God with human beings. This life-giving element has to be integral into all church celebrations and ministries. The People come as the invited to the banquet; leave fulfilled; find their sufferings and experiences of cruelties of life alleviated and go forth with joy in their hearts.

But the Wedding Feast at Cana was to become a disaster. It was going to be an ‘empty and spirit-less’ night – no more wine, empty jars, plenty of embarrassment, a new chapter with a bad ending, and a poor finish.

Are our church ministries, liturgies and celebrations life-giving and fulfilling? What is missing in them? Maybe we have forgotten to give God is proper place. Maybe we need to practise what we sing: “Jesus, we enthrone you”. For our gatherings, liturgies and celebrations to be filled with festivities and thanksgiving, we may need a checklist:

  • Did we invite God into the gathering? John’s gospel reminds us that the mother of Jesus was there, and that Jesus and his disciples were there.
  • Are the helpers, the organisers and servers cooperative with Lord? (obedient to the word and the Spirit) The stewards did as told by Mary to “do whatever He tells you”. They filled the 6 empty jars, drew out the wine as instructed, served the guests, and climaxed with the best wine.
  • Are we seeing the signs? Signs point out “what we are” and “what we are created to be”. Isaiah pleaded with his people to see the signs and into it is trying to convey… that they had returned from the exile… Jerusalem had been restored… the prophecies had come to pass… even if Jerusalem had yet to be fully rebuilt. The signs pointed to the glory of God.
  • Are we allowing the Lord to make us see the beyond? Isaiah saw the city of God rebuilt, and expressed in these words: ‘my delight’, ‘the wedded’, ‘the Lord delights in you’, and ‘your builder shall marry you’ etc. Paul saw beyond the charisms and gifts in the community – saw the charisms, services and ministries as graces for the community, not for personal glory or pride; that no gift was greater than the next, that there were many gifts but one Spirit. Both Isaiah and Paul pointed to the new and greater Epiphany – the Cross.
  • Are we ready to be changed, to be made new, to be bearers of the new wine? Life-changing transformations awaits those who see the glory of God, believe and are open to Him in our midst.

Life-changing ministries, liturgies and celebrations change us. Something happens to us. Of course, there will be some who will insist that they can change themselves, with no help. Others may rely on external catalyst to spark that change in us. The SIGNS that believers welcome, are the interventions of the Lord in their timeline, the little or big miracles they experience and, seeing the glory of God and exclaiming: “It is the Lord”. This sign accompanies them: they live communion, they participate in life, they share in the Lord’s mission.