Interfaith Mission of Sts. Francis and Clare of Assisi, Tulalip, WA
The 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings - Roman Catholic Church
First Reading Isiah 62:1-5
Second Reading 1 Cor 12:4-11
Gospel John 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 the 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.
Sermon - Fr. Dan Duval
Today we hear about the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. We hear about the start of the visual deeds Jesus performs. Jesus had already called his disciples. He already had people who were listening to him and following him, but he had yet to DO anything. It seems rather telling that the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry begins with a transformation. Jesus transforms water into wine. He transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. What a metaphor. Before we can begin we must first transform. if things stay the same, nothing changes. Mary says to Jesus, it is time. Jesus puts his mother in her place by reminding her she is a woman and no longer has to follow her directions. Perhaps, as his mother, Mary knew Jesus needed to be pushed to transform and to begin. He needed to be nudged to not sit back and take the intellectual and easy way out. It was time to start putting his money where his mouth was so to speak.
This feeling of being comfortable where we are is not new to anyone. We all know the feeling of wanting to hit the snooze alarm for just another 10 minutes. Most older folks remember asking “Can it wait until the next commercial? Before we had the ability to pause the television”. How many times have we said “just a few more minutes”. We like to sit back in our comfort zone, even when we would like the end result of the next step, the motivation to begin seems lost and is difficult to find.
How do we, as Jesus, find the motivation to do the next step, or the next right thing?
We hear in the second reading that we all have gifts of value. We all have been given things that the world needs. “There are many gifts but the same spirit”. The gifts we have are no better or no worse than the ones that the person sitting next to you has. We are all given our own unique things we can do for the betterment of the whole.
As we see in the Gospel, just having those gifts is not enough. We must use them. As Jesus, what excuses do we use? Jesus said. “it’s not time yet”
What excuses do we give? "It’s too hard? I might be laughed at? Someone might not like it.”
We all have our own excuses just as we have our own gifts. What we also see in the the Gospel, is that until Jesus put his faith into action, he had followers but not believers. When they saw, they began to believe. We are not told what they began to believe, just that they began to believe. Could it be that by watching Jesus put his gifts into action the disciples were also spurred on to put their own gifts into action? By watching one person rise to the occasion, where they also motivated to move themselves?
Our first reading also talks about transformation. 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. This is about transformation. This is about becoming. This is not about God coming down and smiting everyone that might be an enemy, but rather about the work of transformation and what is possible if that work is done. The Lord delights in you and makes your land his spouse. What a wonderful sentiment. The Lord, God, Yaweh, or whatever name you use for the Divine delights in you, has given you gifts that can transform you and those around you. But, you have to make that first step, and then the next and then the next.
What gift do you have and what action can you take? Are you willing to take that step and to be transformed?
It can be a scary thing. We know that the more we are transformed, like Jesus, and the more we share our transformation, those who would like to be more comfortable becoming increasingly more uncomfortable. Some are threatened by transformation. Giving up our ideas, beliefs and current way of doing things is not easy or familiar and can feel foreign and at times as if we are doing something wrong or against tradition.
Those that are transforming are accused of breaking the law, not keeping with tradition, being foolish, or even threatening the fabric of society. So many reasons and excuses to keep the status quo are used, even to the point of harm coming to those who are at the forefront of change.
Do we welcome those with new gifts or do we try to keep them away from us? Galileo was killed for saying the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around. We can recall in our times people who were killed for challenging existing beliefs… Mahatma Gandhi. And as we celebrate his birthday Martin Luther King. These are people who stood up for transformation. These are people, like Jesus who challenged the way it was to bring others to a new and higher level, closer to Divine Unity.
Friedrich Nietzsche: "Whoever has overthrown an existing law of custom has hitherto always first been accounted a bad man: but when, as did happen, the law could not afterwards be reinstated and this fact was accepted, the predicate gradually changed; - history treats almost exclusively of these bad men who subsequently became good men!" (Daybreak, § 20) Helen Keller puts it this way: The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next." (Optimism, 1903)
How do we then look into ourselves and overcome our own inertia, fear, desire for comfort or whatever excuses we might have to move forward into transformation? Do we listen to that divine feminine voice of Mary that spurs us into action and and does not listen to our excuses? Do we allow ourselves to be pushed and molded? Can we form communities that will do this for each other in loving and nurturing ways?
Can I be an impetus of change and transformation for others and allow them to be this same impetus for myself?
I give you all have my permission to be my Mary. I ask you to challenge me to become more than I am and to put my words into deeds and actions. May I be open, like Jesus was to his mother and to move into Divine Unity.