Second Sunday of Ordinary Time C- Homily by Fr. Michael Udoekpo
Readings: Isa 62: 1-5; Ps 96:1-2, 2-3; 7-10; 1 Cor 12:4-11 and John 2:1-11
The Joy of Christ over Us, the Redeemed
Today we celebrate the Glory of the Lord which is not unconnected from the events of the past few Sundays: the Birth of Christ, His epiphany and His Baptism. In Cana in Galilee God manifested his glory in changing water in to wine (Jn 2:1-11), which had been long foretold by the prophets (Amos 9: 13-14). It is a changing from an old world into a new world of joy and happiness for the people of Zion, Jerusalem, the people God, ourselves. A change from scarcity of food and wine to its abundance. A change from all the misfortunes in this life (Zeph 1:14:1-18) to a new world of good fortunes ( Zeph 3:9-20). It is a change from hopelessness to hope. The author of this change who like a bridegroom, is God, who delights and rejoices in His people, the bride, the renewed, the rewarded, and the restored (see Re-thinking the Day of YHWH, Udoekpo, pp. 151-195).
The Context of the first reading of today (Isa 62:1-5) this hope of restoration is worth reflecting upon. It is a time that our ancestors in faith, the people of Judah were returning from exile. It is a time of high hopes, expectations and difficulties as well. Tension existed between the returnees and those, including the foreigner’s occupiers during their absence. Though they were home, their freedom was limited by Persian Imperialism. Although God’s promised was beginning to unfold, they were still looking forward to a complete fulfillment.
The prophecy of Isaiah today is to reassure them how much God has loved them as the husband would love his dear wife: He says, “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quite, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch.” The redeemed people shall be called a new name, foreshadowing the new wine in today’s Gospel. They are destined also for God’s glory “You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord (v 2), and as a young man marries a virgin the Lord will marry us and rejoices over us (v 5).
This prophecy shows not only significance each and every one us is before God, but also how much God cherishes and loves. It is not a casual love, a hit and run love, but a love that a good husband has for his loving wife.
The birth of Christ as we saw during Christmas, and his messianic ministry fulfilled all that had been foretold by Israel prophets “I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel, they shall rebuild and inhabits their ruin cities, plant vineyard and drink their wine (Amos 9:14). Christ in Cana in Galilee at the beginning of his public ministry and with the intercession of his Mother turned water into wine.
He gave the wedding ceremony that had lack that lack or had ran out of sweet wine a new name of wedding party with a good wine. Our lives too could be dry as the dryness of the exile and ruin as the ruin cities of Jerusalem. It is only Jesus that can rebuild our ruinness and brokennesss. Our lives too could be tasteless of flat like the water at the wedding ceremony. It is only God that can bring juice and sweetness into our lives.
What are the flatness and dryness in your life? What are your sorrows? What are those old things and habits in our lives you might consider changing or dropping. It varies from individual to individual, depending on who we are? Even for the community of Corinth to whom St. Paul ministered unto, their flatness and sorrows were lack of understanding, immorality, fornications, adulteries, division and boasting about their individual gifts and talents (1 Cor 12–14). They didn’t realize that all the gifts that God has blessed us with though are for different services comes from the same God, and are meant for the same goal: the glory of God, the common good, for the building up of the community- the Church. And among all the gifts, Love, which is God is the greatest gift. The love that God had first lavished upon us is that same love that is being expected to share with our neighbors, with our children, friends, brothers and sisters, and with anybody with meet along the way.
Whatever, our dryness, weakness, ruin and brokenness might be let us pray at this worship, asking the Lord to renew our brokenness with his love, change our misfortunes to fortunes and nourish us with the new wine of love, patient and hope, through the prayers of our Mother Mary.
Peace be with you.