Sunday, January 20, 2013

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

            “…you shall be called ‘My Delight’, and your land ‘Espoused.’  For the LORD delights in you and makes your land his spouse.  As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.”
            When I read this text from Isaiah I first thought of the religious sisters I know in my life.  Throughout the Old Testament, one of the most common images to describe God and His people is marriage.  God is the bridegroom and He remains faithful in unity to His people.  So too, our religious sisters have been called in a particular way to consecrate their lives to God, as He beckons them to union with Him.
            Indeed, this image has been fulfilled by Christ’s love for His Church.  God remains the bridegroom, and through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, consummates His love for His bride the Church.
            Yet despite this reality, we can often look at the green grass on the other side of the fence.  For instance, my two of my best friends just had a baby.  As a priest this makes me yearn for the gift of marriage, children and a faithful companion in my life.  At the same time, my lovebird friends shared how they often desire to have silence each day for personal prayer like I have.  Some religious sisters long to do what a priest does, students wish they could be professors and on and on…
            Yet we must remember, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit…one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.”  The Spirit has placed us in whatever state of life we live—whether married, religious sister, priest or single.  We can trust that whatever this vocation, God delights in each and every one of us.
            This same God—Jesus—solves an emergency in our Gospel: they ran out of wine at the wedding of Cana.  (The only worse situation is if they would have run out of beer).  He takes the jugs—and not dinky things we first think of—but six foot high jugs that each held 20-30 gallons of water—and made wine.  This is a sign Christ’s abundant gifts.
            In our own lives—to wherever He has called us—Jesus takes the ordinary and bestows His grace upon it.  Whether it is a beautiful scene in nature, the sight of a baby and especially in His sacraments—He gives us His gifts.
            We pray in thanksgiving for these gifts God has given us, no matter what our vocation.  We trust in Him and pray that through these gifts we may become more happy and holy.

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