Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – C

-17

When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”  

 

 

OPENING PRAYER

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales

Be at peace.

Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life;

Rather, look to them with full hope as they arise.

God, whose very own you are,

Will deliver you from out of them.

He has kept you hitherto,

And He will lead you safely through all things;

and when you cannot stand it,

God will bury you in his arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;

The same everlasting Father who cares for you today

Will take care of you then and everyday.

He will either shield you from suffering,

Or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace,

And put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.

 

COLLECT

Almighty ever-living God,

who govern all things,

both in heaven and on earth,

mercifully hear the pleading of your people

and bestow your peace on our times.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity

of the Holy Spirit,

one God for ever and ever.

READING I

Is 62:1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
and her victory like a burning torch.
Nations shall behold your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
you shall be called by a new name
pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,
a royal diadem held by your God.
No more shall people call you “Forsaken, “
or your land “Desolate, “
but 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.

 

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)

CCC 219 God’s love for Israel is compared to a father’s love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother’s for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”1

CCC 1611 Seeing God’s covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love, the prophets prepared the Chosen People’s conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage.2 The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love, insofar as it is a reflection of God’s love – a love “strong as death” that “many waters cannot quench.”3

1 Jn 3:16; cf. Hos 11:1; Is 49:14-15; 62: 4-5; Ezek 16; Hos 11.

2 Cf. Hos 1-3; Isa 54; 62; Jer 2-3; 31; Ezek 16; 23; Mal 2:13-17.

3 Song 8:6-7.

 

APPLICATION

On reading these words of the prophet (God’s mouthpiece) today, words spoken to encourage and console the returned exiles in the midst of their desolation, our first thought must be of the infinite mercy, kindness and love of God. This people had deserted him, they had brought this exile on themselves, yet he has brought them back to their native land and he now encourages them to take up the work of reconstruction and promises them his divine assistance.

And our second thought must be of the meanness, the ingratitude, the incredible thanklessness of that people to the God who so befriended them. They very soon forgot him, they became immersed in their earthly concerns, became worldly and politically minded. They interpreted his promise of a new Jerusalem, which would be to him a virgin bride and his crown of glory, into an earthly city which would give them political power and earthly plenty, they would have no further need of him.

But let us stop for a moment and turn our thoughts on ourselves. Are we much better than they, in fact are we not much meaner, much more ungrateful than they ever were? Is our Christian world today–the new spouse of Christ, the adopted children of God, the people to whom this prophecy was really directed–is this Christian world of ours, living up to its vocation–is it really behaving as God would and does expect it to behave?

He has done infinitely more for us than he did for the Jews. He has sent his Son to make us heirs of eternal life–that Son suffered and died for us. He gave us all the necessary instructions as to how we can get to heaven and gave us the means of getting there. In spite of all this, there are many–far too many–Christians today who not only forget him and all he has done for them, but also despise and insult him by their mode of life. Like the Jews of old they are busy trying to make a heaven for themselves in this life and alas like the Jews of old their endeavors will be in vain. They will have to leave this earth of ours and face the great beyond with empty hands, having buried their talent (all the gifts God has given them) in this barren earth.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

Ps 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10

Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
\

R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!

R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth;
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He governs the peoples with equity.

R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

 

READING II

1 Cor 12:4-11

Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
same Spirit;
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

 

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)

CCC 249 From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church’s living faith, principally by means of Baptism. It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis and prayer of the Church. Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”1

CCC 308 The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator. God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”2 Far from diminishing the creature’s dignity, this truth enhances it. Drawn from nothingness by God’s power, wisdom and goodness, it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin, for “without a Creator the creature vanishes.”3 Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God’s grace.4

CCC 801 It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Church’s shepherds. “Their office [is] not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good,”5 so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together “for the common good.”6

CCC 951 Communion of charisms. Within the communion of the Church, the Holy Spirit “distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank” for the building up of the Church.7 Now, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”8

CCC 1454 The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God. The passages best suited to this can be found in the Ten Commandments, the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.9

CCC 1508 The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing10 so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that “in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church.”11

CCC 1988 Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ’s Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life; we are members of his Body which is the Church, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself:12

[God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature. .. For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.13

CCC 2004 Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church:

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.14

1 2 Cor 13:14; cf. 1 Cor 12:4-6; Eph 4:4-6.

2 Phil 2:13; cf. 1 Cor 12:6.

3 GS 36 § 3.

4 Cf. Mt 19:26; Jn 15:5; 14:13

5 LG 12; cf. 30; 1 Thess 5:12, 19-21; John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 24.

6 1 Cor 12:7.

7 LG 12 # 2.

8 1 cor 12:7.

9 Cf. Mt 5-7; Rom 12-15; 1 Cor 12-13; Gal 5; Eph 4-6; etc.

10 Cf. 1 Cor 12:9, 28, 30.

11 2 Cor 12:9; Col 1:24.

12 Cf. 1 Cor 12; Jn 15:1 4.

13 St. Athanasius, Ep. Serap. 1, 24: PG 26, 585 and 588.

14 Rom 12:6-8.

 

APPLICATION

The kindness and the goodness of God to us unworthy creatures, is a mystery we shall never understand in this life. All through the story of God’s dealings with man we have example after example of this infinite love, mercy and kindness. The Old Testament has proofs of this in almost every page of its two thousand years’ history. And what of the’ story of the New Testament, during our two thousand years’ history? This began with an almost incredible act of divine love, the coming of God’s Son in our human nature–his setting up of the Church, the society of the new Chosen Race and his promise to be “with it all days even unto the consummation of the world.”

That he has kept his promise the history of the Church proves. He was with it in its infancy, as today’s reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians shows. He showered extraordinary gifts on the first converts to help the spread of the faith. He was with it in its early years when persecution followed persecution, encouraging and strengthening the martyrs to bear their trials and give witness to the faith that was in them. He was with his Church in the sad days of schism and heresy when some of his chosen ones left him and when brother turned against brother in foolish fraternal strife. He is with it today when, moved by his grace, the separated brothers are making preparations for a great family reunion. He has promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church–they cannot for he is ever with it guiding and guarding it.

While thanking God today for the infinite goodness, kindness and mercy he has shown to the human race down through the ages, especially for sending us his Son to raise us up and make us heirs of heaven, let us stop for a moment and ask ourselves one question: Are we really and truly grateful to God for all he has done and is still doing for us? Our answer will be evident from the answer we can honestly give to this second question: what have I done in the past, what am I doing in the present to show that gratitude?

If I cannot give myself good marks on that question, and which of us can, it is never too late to begin. We are dealing with a God of mercy, with a father who is ever ready to welcome back all his prodigal sons; we can begin this moment by saying a heartfelt “thank you, God, for all your loving kindness, please forget my past ingratitude, and give me the grace to be one of your grateful children for the future.”

 

GOSPEL

Jn 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
“Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them,
“Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
— although the servers who had drawn the water knew —,
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.

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

 

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)

CCC 486 The Father’s only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is “Christ”, that is to say, anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples.1 Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.”2

CCC 495 Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus”, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord”.3 In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God” (Theotokos).4

CCC 1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.5 The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus’ glorification. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father’s kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.6

CCC 1613 On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign – at his mother’s request – during a wedding feast.7 The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.

CCC 2618 The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana,8 the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another feast – that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride. It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the cross,9 that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the true “Mother of all the living.”

1 Cf. Mt 1:20; 2:1-12; Lk 1:35; 2:8-20; Jn 1:3 1-34; 2:11.

2 Acts 10:38.

3 Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.

4 Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.

5 Cf. Mt 14:13-21; 15:32-39.

6 Cf. Jn 2:11; Mk 14:25.

7 Cf. Jn 2:1-11.

8 Cf. Jn 2:1-12.

9 Cf. Jn 19:25-27.

 

APPLICATION

There are many lessons we can learn from this incident in Christ’s life: for example, Christ’s approval of marriage–there were some heretical sects later who said marriage was sinful, unfit for a Christian. Or we could see in it the intercessory power of our blessed Mother. Christ anticipated his “hour” for working miracles in order to grant her request. But the theme of today’s readings is the goodness and kindness of God and we surely have a convincing proof of that loving kindness in today’s gospel story.

Christ worked his first miracle in order to grant a temporal favor, an earthly gift, to save the newly married groom from embarrassment. It had the other effects of convincing his very recent disciples of their belief that he was the expected Messiah, and also it convinces all Christians of the efficacy of our Lady’s intercession for us, but its primary purpose was to confer a temporal benefit on the groom.

By this kind act he has shown us that he is interested in our earthly affairs also. He became man in order that we could become sons of God, he came on earth so that we could go to heaven, but this miracle at Cana proves that he has a deep interest in our many and varied activities during the course of our journey to heaven.

He told us “ask and you shall receive.” That “shall” is very definite, our prayers will be answered, and what we should ask for is not only spiritual gifts, but the temporal aids also which we need. The “shall” applies to them too, as the miracle of Cana proves. We shall get our temporal requests, provided of course that they won’t impede us on our journey to heaven. No kind father would give his child a gift that would injure him–God is the kindest of fathers and he sees what will or will not impede or endanger our eternal happiness. We can and should therefore make our temporal needs known to God in our prayers, confident that he will give us what we ask if it is for our real good.

But, someone may object: how often have I asked God for temporal favors I needed so badly, and my prayer was unanswered? Was it unanswered really? Perhaps you did not get the exact thing you asked for but you got something more useful, more necessary, something you never thought of asking for, but the good God saw your need of it. We have a father in heaven who really loves us, and cares for us, let us make our temporal, as well as our spiritual needs, known to him in confident prayer. Our requests will not go unanswered.

Applications written by Fr. Kevin O’Sullivan O.F.M. and used with permission from Franciscan Press

 

BENEDICTUS

Human Thirst and the Holy Spirit

The ultimate thirst of men cries out for the Holy Spirit. He, and he alone, is, at a profound level, the fresh water without which there is no life. In the image of a spring, of the water that irrigates and transforms a desert, that man meets like a secret promise, the mystery of the Spirit becomes visible in an ineffable fashion that no rational meditation can encompass. In man’s thirst, and in his being refreshed by water, is portrayed that infinite, for more radical thirst that can be quenched by no other water… The Holy Spirit is eternally, of his very nature, God’s gift, God as wholly self-giving, God as sharing himself, as gift. In that sense, the inner reason and basis for creation and salvation history do after all lie in this quality of being of the Holy Spirit, as donum and datum… He is the content of Christian prayer. He is the only gift worthy of God: as God, God gives nothing other than God; he gives himself and thereby everything. That is why properly Christian prayer, again, does not beg for just anything; rather, it begs for the gift of God that is God himself, begs for him.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

 

CLOSING PRAYER

A Prayer for America

Father, we beg Your blessing for the Right to Life, the Unborn, the weak, the sick and the old; all who are finding themselves being targets of the vicious culture of death.

That our Lord Jesus bless and protect all who stand up for the Christian dignity of persons.

That God enlighten those who are traveling down death’s highway by their involvement, in any way, with either the contemporary death culture, selfism, relativism, or any of the new age errors of our times.

That God envelop our culture with His Divine protection and help us both individually and as a nation to true enlightenment, conversion and repentance of our selves and our culture.

Help us to turn from our national sin of abortion, and return to, and once again become a Christian nation, on the narrow road, that is, the path to becoming a nation and culture, under God.

We ask this and all things through Christ our Lord. Amen.

http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=222

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About Benedicamus Domino

Let Us Bless The Lord - A Benedictine oblate's weekly study of the Catholic Church's Sunday Sacred Liturgy. I hope that families and friends will benefit from this as a prayerful way to prepare and actively participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
This entry was posted in Benedictine, Bible Study, Catholic, Christian, faith, Liturgy, Oblate, prayer, The Word of God, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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