Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
January 19 and 20, 2019
There were six stone water jars there…each holding twenty to thirty gallons, Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.”
We really start the New Year today, free from the expectations of Advent and the beautiful imagery of the Christmas. Today we put our heads down and begin that long slog to the beginning of Lent and then Easter, the central theme of our Christianity.
Why does the Church send us down that path with images of marriage? Why marriage, why now? The answer, as always, is easy and complicated all at the same time.
The Old Testament is chock full of the imagery of marriage. It is the marriage of humans that most closely mirrors our relationship with God. God creates us from nothing, God loves us unconditionally, and God yearns for the honeymoon that we turned our backs on in the Garden of Eden. As a husband is for his wife and vice versa, so God is for us humans. We need each other, we long for each other, and we are emptiest when we are away from each other. As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so God will rejoice in you, Isaiah tells us in the first reading. That ‘you’ is us, and God rejoices in us.
We are born for that active Covenant with God. God even provides a measure for that love, as we gauge that relationship in how we make God present to each other. God needs us to be present to the world, and we need God to make that presence meaningful. At Cana, no miracle happened until they had reached the bottom of the barrel. And when that moment was reached, Jesus asked that the stone jars be filled with water, and he transformed it into the best wine ever.
So we go into that seemingly empty long drag to Lent, empty and hopeless, but all we need is to be filled up and transformed. What kind of wine will our newly filled emptiness become through the direct intervention of our finest lover, God? I propose that seeking a solution to this problem should be our goal during this Ordinary time.
– Barry Zavislan