Jan 17, 2016

A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME –  CYCLE “C” – 1/17/16 –  SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!   Peace and goodness to you this day!

When I was growing up, some of my favorite family events, were the big Italian weddings!  There was perhaps no better time to be an Italian-American, than at those big weddings.  The food, the music, the dancing, the traditions, all the cousins in one place!  It was awesome!  I thought the Italians were alone in this, and then in 2002, I saw “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding”.  The Canadian actress, Nia Vardalos wrote and starred in the movie that was the sleeper hit of the year, and most popular romantic comedy of all time.  The movie grossed over $250 Million in North America alone.   And with that one movie, suddenly everybody realized that it didn’t matter if you were Greek or Italian, or Irish, or Croatian, or Pilipino, or Mexican, or Vietnamese, if you came from a large, immigrant family with lots of family traditions, there was no better time to party and celebrate family, than at a wedding.  I have good friends of mine who are Czechoslovakian, who invited me to come to their wedding, and what a blast!  If you ever get a chance to go to a Czechoslovakian wedding , GO!  It was a blast!

Today in our Gospel, we get the Gospel’s version of “My Big, Fat, Jewish Wedding”.   And just like in the movie, there’s a Bride and Groom, and a big Jewish family, and everybody’s been invited to the celebration, including Jesus and Mary!  And in true, First-Century Jewish fashion, this wedding feast would have gone on for days, not just for a few hours.  This was a major event!  So when the party goes on that long, it shouldn’t surprise any of us, that eventually the wine runs out.  Certainly those putting on the party are aware that there’s a problem.  They must be very embarrassed by the situation.  Mary is the one who discretely brings up the situation to Jesus.  Now, there is something that is incredibly comforting, at for me to know, that Mary, the Mother of God, is so compassionate and caring, that she even cares about the embarrassment of this family.  This is clearly a woman that all of us should want on our side!  Jesus, at first seems to be less caring about the situation.  But Mary tells the servers to “do whatever He tells you” and Jesus performs His first miracle, at a wedding feast at Cana.  He changes water into wine.

It is important to acknowledge that Jesus isn’t saving a life here.  He is not expelling a demon.  He is not forgiving anyone’s sins.  He’s not giving anyone their sight back.  Jesus is saving this newly married couple and their families, from a certain amount of social embarrassment.   It might not seem like much.  But yet, to this family, it was everything!  This was the miracle that they needed.  Mary saw that.  Eventually, apparently Jesus saw it too.  It is not the most extravagant of Jesus’ miracles.  But doesn’t it show us something about God’s love, and compassion, and caring, that He even cared about this family running out of wine at their wedding?  This is the kind of God that I want!

When you think about it, all of Jesus’ greatest miracles involved things changing.  A blind man’s damaged eyes change into healthy eyes.  A few fish and loaves change into many fishes and loaves.  Human flesh that was being destroyed from leprosy, changes into healthy, new flesh!  Those possessed with evil spirits are changed and set free from their bondage.  The hardest of hearts are changed and made new again, by the unconditional love of a God Who saves His people!  The changes are everywhere in the Gospels!  The water into wine was only the beginning!  Our God has been changing things for nearly two-thousand years now.  And the best news, as we come here today?  God is not done.  Our God still wants to change us even in 2016!

Today, God wants us to be His next miracle.  Today, God wants to continue to change us!  We call that change conversion.  And our conversion isn’t done until the day that we die.  God is constantly wanting to convert our hearts and make our lives more loving and kind.  The only real question that is left, is, are we going to let Him?  The Gospels are full of people who allowed Jesus to change them.  The Gospels also have plenty of people who refused God’s change.  Are you letting God change your life?  Are you giving Him that chance?  Are you allowing God to make you, His next miracle?

+  May God bless us today,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…               AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…             Pray for us !!!