for Sunday, January 17, 2016
This Second Sunday of Ordinary Time brings us the first great miracle of Jesus: the wedding feast of Cana. We are at the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus and we can hear Jesus resisting: my hour has not yet come. It is almost as if Jesus must be pushed into taking up the life that will lead to His sacrificial death for our sake, so that we may be saved.
The first reading today, from the Prophet Isaiah, speaks about what has happened to God's Chosen People, Israel, His beloved. Israel has been more or less destroyed and its faith watered down and weakened over the centuries. Yet the Prophet Isaiah, looking into the future, states: Nations shall behold your vindication, and all the kings your glory.
God never abandons His people. The Jewish Scriptures have so many stories of God being tempted to forsake His people, yet always in the end, God's merciful love triumphs and God once again seeks ways to renew His people and to draw their love to Him so that they can be saved.
The second reading is from the First Letter to the Corinthians, begins to instruct us about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believing community, the life of the Church. There are so many gifts but they are always given to benefit the community. We must focus on that reality: spiritual gifts are meant to benefit the believing community. When a person begins to draw attention to themselves rather than to the Lord and to the believing community, we must be suspicious that the gifts are not from the Holy Spirit.
When we return to the Gospel of John after hearing the first and second readings, we can understand that the gifts that Jesus has are always for building up the community, for drawing others to God, for manifesting the great Works of God so that people may believe. This is done to fulfill the promise of the Lord that He will restore His people and vindicate them once again.
May the Lord Jesus be vindicated in our lives. May our lives be transformed by listening to the Word of God, so that we are able to radiate the gifts of the Holy Spirit and build up our Christian communities in love.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: