Homily  Second Sunday of Ordinary Time C: Fr. Michael Ufok UdoekpoReadings: Isa 62: 1-5; Ps 96:1-2, 2-3; 7-10; 1 Cor 12:4-11 and John 2:1-11
God’s Love: The Newness Its Brings Us (In the Year of Mercy)!
We all know what it means, and how it feels to love and to be loved by God! It makes us feels good, sweet, confidence, joyful, happy, not wanting, not lacking in anything! Today’s readings (from Isaiah, Paul and John), in today’s world, simply remind us of God’s constant love, his miracles and protection that call us to faith. We are called to be mindful of the gifts and graces, God continuously and miraculously lavishes upon us, according to our various needs!
In the first reading (Isa 62:1-5) for instance, God frees Jerusalem from Exiles. He frees them from torture, dryness, hunger, mockery, poverty and all kinds of deprivations they were subjected by their enemies. Completely a new situation now; a new land! The land once destroyed; the temple, their spirit, their confidence, their identity, the culture, once demolished has been rebuilt. Smiles everywhere! Jerusalem smiles at God. And God smiles at Jerusalem. He rejoices over them as a husband would smile at his wife. The situation is that of love. God’s love without limits. He gives us the graces that we need in this life.
Saint Paul speaks of these graces in the second reading (I Cor 12:4-11) while preaching to the quarrelling Corinthian Church. It was a community deprived of joy. It was filled with lack of understanding and immorality. Acts of fornications, adulteries, boasting about one’s talents, as if they were not a gift and graces from God, became a pattern in this community. It was a human community like ours, today!
Of course, for Paul, these gifts, be it expression of wisdom, knowledge, faith to believe, power to heal, perform mighty deeds, prophecy, discernment and interpretation of tongues, all come from the same God, and must be used for the common good, the good of the community. As Paul would put it, “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.” As he produces, these blessings, gifts and graces in us, God expects us to use them of the service of our neighbors, especially the poor and the less–privileged, everywhere; and particularly in this Year of Mercy!
By the way, God’s grace extends throughout the century and flourishes in all circumstances to everyone, land, culture and continents! It is not limited to a few! At the wedding feast in Cana, Galilee in today’s Gospel (John 2:1-11), God’s love, his mercy, generosity, compassion are in miraculously in display. We are familiar with this story, Jesus' first miracle before his public ministry. He changes water, to wine, through the intercession his Mother, Mary, and drew many to faith! In fact, the sweetest and the most superior of all the wines, to the amazement and joy of the wedding quests!
There is no old, ugly, hopeless and bitter situations in our lives that our miracle- working- God, with his love and mercy cannot change. God’s love for us in unchanging! He loves us from generation to generation– Isaiah, Christ– Paul –to our generation. He loves us from nation to nations, from coast to coast, from continent to continents. Let us pray for the grace to remain prayerfully open and dispose to his transformative new wine, and love in our lives, families and in various communities today (especially in this Year of Mercy)!