Sunday, January 17, 2016

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Wedding

Today's readings are about evangelization.

In the first reading, Isaiah says that he will not be silent for the sake of Zion and Jerusalem.  He has to give witness to God. The people of God are a glorious crown, a royal diadem. These people will be united to God as a young man marries a virgin; as a bridegroom his bride.  This reading reminds us that the Church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27).  At the end of time, this bride will marry the bridegroom who is Jesus (Revelation 21:2). Those in humanity who united to the Church and remained faithful will be restored (Romans 8:22, Acts 3:21).  Their link with God which has been severed or weakened by sin will be repaired. Before all of this happens, we must proclaim God's deeds to all the nations as the Psalm tells us (Matthew 28:19 ).  This is evangelization.

We must sing to the Lord and anounce His salvation to all the Earth.  It is in our love and our joy that we attract others to God (Philippians 4:4).  If we are people with gloomy faces looking to fulfill and obligation, then people will not seek anything in us or from us (Matthew 6:16, Sirach 25:23). However, if we shine bright with God's grace; with God's Good News, then why will seek it as well because everyone wants to be joyous, not miserable. This is why the Holy Spirit was sent to us and gives us distinct gifts as we are told in the second reading.

The same and One Spirit gives different gifts to each of us. He gives different forms of services, but they are all rendered unto the Lord. They all come from God (Nehemiah 9:20, John 20:22). Some may have the gift of wisom and expression of knowledge.  Others may have the expression of faith, healing, mighty deeds, propchecy, discerning of spirits and tongues. While different, each gift serves a person. The gifts of tongues is speaking in a way that everyone understands.  It is not gibberish or sounds that make no sense as our friends in the Pentecostal sect believe the gift of tongues is.  Speaking gibberish does not spread the kingdom of God.  It brings about mockery from the heathen. We must put the gifts God gives us to use in promoting the Gospel (Psalm 68:18, Acts 5:32). For now, I am using websites, social media, radio podcasts, Google hangouts and books to do this. I also do street evangelization. God may change this in the future and have me do something else. What gifts did God give you? How does He want you to spread the Good News? These gifts are meant to promote God, not ourselves or our agenda. We sometimes see blogs out there or certain personalities who use their gifts to preach gossip or attacks against the Pope and our bishops calling them 'wicked' or 'modernists.'  This is not of the Holy Spirit. These kinds of messages are demonic which seeks to undermine the Catholic Church and cause doubt (1 Peter 5:8). Moreover, we must not envy the gifts of others (Galatians 5:26). Not everyone is supposed to evangelize in the same manner. Be happy that God has entrusted you with a gift and mission.

Lastly in the Gospel, we read of Christ's first miracle which came as a result of Our Lady's intercession. Jesus and Mary are at a wedding feast. This shows us their humanity. Being of God does not mean we have to be stiff, rigid stoics who do not enjoy life (Ecclesiastes 9:7). Everything about God is a joyous occasion, a feast. Moreover, we are told that the wine ran out. Mary tells Jesus and He responds in a blunt manner, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come."  Despite this direct responds, Mary tells the serves, "Do whatever he tells you.'  We see here how Mary brings Jesus to perform a miracle before the time set showing the intercessory power Mary has. She pleads for us at the right hand of her Son Christ.  Jesus then performs the miracle of transforming jars of water into the best tasting wine. This reading not only shows us Mary's intercession, Christ's power and a wedding party; it is a reminder of the first reading.  God is going to marry His people; the Church (Revelation 19:7; 21:9). This is what the Catholic Church has her eyes on: the wedding feast of the Lamb and herself.  Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to tell us what to do and how to do it.  Let us ask Him to give us the gifts and means to do this.  While we do our work of evangelizing, let us never forget Mary who intercedes for us.  May Jesus Christ be praised.


Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011716.cfm

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