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Click on the link for the full newsletter  2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 17 Jan 2016


A new season of the Church year is upon us. “Ordinary Time” has replaced the “Christmas season.”

Last Sunday climaxed the stories of Jesus’ birth, early life, and of course, his baptism. Now it is time to hear about his active work as God’s Word. That work is the content of “Ordinary Time,” in spite of the season’s mundane name.

Isaiah says in the First Reading that God is going to give his people a new name. They will be called “My delight.” Their land will be known by the name, “Espoused.” The Lord will marry them and bring forth abundance from their lands.

So, in this familiar Gospel, we are at the wedding feast of Cana in Galilee and the wine has run out. Jesus is able to transform water into the very best wine, just as the Father can change a forsaken people into ones that are his delight.

Water turned to wine is a wonderful image of people who are fresh out of hope and need to drink of the promise and its satisfaction. Only God in Jesus can supply the real thing. Thus the Gospel story has even more symbolic depth than the simple story of an amazing miracle at first indicates.

Mary says modestly to Jesus, “They have no wine.” In other words, the human race has no real life left in it.

Jesus replies strangely: “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” He is saying that his public life has not yet begun. In that public life he will have to preach, heal, suffer, die and rise again, as we will see in the coming weeks.

But Mary knows him too well. She does not take seriously all the reasons why God’s promise cannot be fulfilled at this time. She knows that the people need the full, rich wine of life, which is love, and she trusts her son.

She says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

So, after all, on this Sunday we begin to watch Jesus make us into “his delight.”

John Foley, SJ


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