Bulletin: January 16, 2022
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
"For Pete's sake will you kids be quiet?" This question, no doubt, has passed the lips of numerous parents through the years. It's tempting to speculate as to who, exactly, was instructing Isaiah to be quiet. Neighbors? Fellow prophets? Family? No matter. Isaiah says firmly that for the sake of Jerusalem and Zion he will not be silent. Conversely, in the familiar passage in today's Gospel reading, Mary chides her son to break his silence, to save the wedding soon to run out of wine. Jesus responds with a prophetic action, one that signals the miraculous, bountiful joy flowing at the heavenly wedding feast. Prophetic words, prophetic deeds--both flow from a broken silence.
The Corinthians seem to have been Paul's problem children. His two letters to them are much longer than any of his other letters--two, three, or four times as long as some. It seems that if the early Christians at Corinth could misunderstand or do something wrong, they would. Fortunately for us, the two letters to the Corinthians, though they contain much didactic or instructional material, also provide some of Paul's most well-crafted and grace-filled writing. This is certainly true today, with Paul's litany of gifts that the Spirit bestows on the faithful, even to this day. Paul seeks to calm the squabbling that seems to have been going on, as the Corinthians tried to claim one gift or another as more important. All gifts come from the same Spirit, Paul reminds them; and the various gifts are given for the benefit of the community. When jealousy arises in our midst today, we can still turn to Paul's insights so we might stop being prideful, problem children.
In the Gospel scene at Cana, we see Mary turning to her own child, Jesus. Perhaps she recalled the power of the Spirit that had flowed in her womb at his Incarnation, leading her to discern that surely he must have Spirit-given gifts that could help with the impending crisis at the wedding. As at her Annunciation, she may not have been completely certain, at first, exactly how this would come about, but in faith at Cana she turned to Jesus. In faith, her words, "do whatever he tells you," echoed her reply to Gabriel: "Let it be done to me as you say." In faith, she knows whatever words the Word will speak are bound to bring another inbreaking of the Spirit, another manifestation of God's reign. And she is right. Her wondrous child, John the Evangelist tells us, performed his first wonder there, and signaled the presence of the divine in the everyday.