A Wedding Feast

Among the many messages I received this Christmas was that of my sister’s son’s engagement. I wondered, “What do I get Jason and his fiancee?” 

Unlike earlier generations, this couple has no need for dishes or kitchenware; they have a starter house and it’s furnished.  And the least imaginative way to shop is the computerized gift registry! So I have a few months to shop!

In our Gospel today, Jesus and his mother have been invited to a wedding. And no one knows what gift he brought to this feast. However, this wedding is quite different.

Why does St. John begin his Gospel with a wedding story?  John uses the wedding story as a metaphor to show us that there is new wine among us and that the marriage is really a marriage between heaven and earth, God and us. [Living Liturgy Year c]

At this wedding, Jesus performs the first of signs that reveal his glory. The revelation of Jesus’ glory is a sign of the persistence of God’s overtures of love to us — God’s espousal love for us.

Our encounters with Jesus — in prayer, through others, in struggling with daily dying — are truly revelations of God’s glory that invites us to respond with belief.  These signs come in many ways — through others in a cry for help, in a lonely person’s plea for companionship, in spontaneous laughter, in the beauty of nature.

The challenge for us is to see ourselves as the good wine, emptied out for others to be filled with the goodness of God’s glory.

New Wine Among Us

Wedding at CanaPlenty of love is evident at a wedding. Of course, there is the love between bride and groom. and there is a love between parents. There is grandparents’ and godparents’ love. Usually the maid of honor and best man have such a close relationship with the couple that we might speak of love far more than friendship. This Sunday’s gospel is about a wedding at Cana. Mary and Jesus are guests. As with all weddings, we might presume that love abounds.
This wedding, however, is quite different. It is far more than a story about the couple and their big day. It is really a story about God’s big day!

Why does John begin with a wedding story? What, really, is the wedding? What, really, is the sign? The abundance and worth of the water made into wine announce the age of the Messiah when messianic abundance will be evident.

Not only does Jesus change water into wine, but he transforms his disciples from being mere companions to becoming those who believe in him. They move to an intimacy of belief and their lives will never be the same. He changed them and he will change us. And our lives will never be the same- we spend ourselves for others.

Here is the Good News: spending oneself for the sake of another is how we actively believe, how we share in Jesus’ glory. by spending ourselves we achieve the fullness of abundance Jesus promises and our lives will never be the same. Check Hausler Family Wines for more information.

There Will Be Signs

Adjustments are a fact of life! We make them all day long, usually without thinking about it! For example, adjusting the volume on the TV,radio or iPod; we adjust our schedule to accommodate someone in need.Other adjustments take more thought and energy and have far-reaching consequences. Moving, marrying, baptizing all bring adjustments. Even changing liturgical seasons means adjusting to new gospel challenges.
This Sunday’s Gospel calls us to adjust our daily living in order to develop the vigilance that enables us to discern the signs of the Lord’s presence and to adjust the choices in our lives so we are blameless in holiness and thus, are more fittingly a testimony of the Son of Man’s power and glory.
The redemption at hand in the gospel is God’s work but it also calls for a response from us: growing in love, living in ways pleasing to God and being faithful. Moreover the very discernment of signs of the Lord’s presence is already a response-when we live as though the end times were now.
Often the anxieties of life blind us to the genuine signs of Christ’s presence and action. This time of year is filled with all kinds of distractions. The Advent season invites us to a more balanced perspective on what we really are about: continually opening ourselves to Christ’s presence. Thus Advent calls us to do deeper discernment about our lives and this very discernment is already a way to prepare for Christ’s coming now and in future glory.