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.
1 Corinthians 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.
Gospel Cycle Cycle C
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.
We have this wonderful interchange between Jesus and Mary in the Gospel today. We continue the Baptism of the Lord and now are in Ordinary Time. The readings of Ordinary Time always bring us close to the Lord in his humanity if we listen attentively. Knowing Jesus in His humanity draws us to His divinity.
The Wedding Feast of Cana gives us the first of the signs which reveal His glory. That means that if we pay attention we shall see the divinity shining through Christ’s humanity. This is another Epiphany, a manifestation of the divine.
The reading from the Prophet Isaiah today tells us that God cannot be silent any longer. God loves His bride, the Church, the people redeemed by His Son. God wants to rejoice in His people and wants His people to rejoice in Him. It is true that most of us have not seen a miracle such as this one. It is just as true that there are miracles as great as this happening even in our down day.
The miracle is not just changing water into wine, the miracle is also that Jesus helps others. The water into wine miracle just is the way that Jesus helps in this situation. The miracle is impressive, so also is the help to the newly married couple and their families.
Jesus is always willing to help, even when a miracle is not required. Am I willing to help others when they need me? Am I willing to give my time and my energy to helping others when it has no benefit for me?
The First Letter to the Corinthians, from which the second reading is taken today, continues this same message. Each of us has gifts and we are to use them to build up the body of Christ, to benefit others. Perhaps we think that our gifts are negligible. Perhaps we think that others have better or more important gifts than ours. That does not matter, whatever we are given, we given to use for others.
Today as we remember the Wedding Feast of Cana and the first of the great signs of Jesus, we can also deepen our awareness that life is to be given away for others, that our gifts are not to bring glory to us but to the Lord.
If we live this mystery of the Epiphany, the manifestation of God in the ordinary human reality, we will appreciate so much more that giving to others, loving others, I the heart of loving God and living in Jesus. May our understanding allow our lives to manifest the Lord in this New Year.