» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!
Old Calendar: Second Sunday after Epiphany
On the third day there was a wedding in 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 (John 2:1-5)."Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The first reading is taken from Isaiah 62:1-5. Isaiah compares Yahweh to a young man who marries a virgin. His love transforms her. She used to be called "Forsaken". Now she has a new name, "My Delight".
The second reading
is from the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, 12:4-11 and teaches that God is the origin of spiritual gifts. The various graces which the members of the Church receive are a living reflection of God who, being essentially one, and so is a trinity of persons. Therefore, diversity of gifts and graces is as important as their basic unity, because all have the same divine origin and the same purpose—the common good. — Excerpted from The Navarre Bible, Corinthians
is from John 2:1-12. There are many lessons we can learn from this incident in Christ's life: for example, Christ's approval of marriage–there were some heretical sects later who said marriage was sinful, unfit for a Christian. Or we could see in it the intercessory power of our blessed Mother. Christ anticipated his "hour" for working miracles in order to grant her request. But the theme of today's readings is the goodness 'and kindness of God and we surely have a convincing proof of that loving kindness in today's gospel story.
Christ worked his first miracle in order to grant a temporal favor, an earthly gift, to save the newly-married groom from embarrassment. It had the other effects of convincing his very recent disciples of their belief that he was the expected Messiah, and also it convinces all Christians of the efficacy of our Lady's intercession for us, but its primary purpose was to confer a temporal benefit on the groom.
By this kind act he has shown us that he is interested in our earthly affairs also. He became man in order that we could become sons of God, he came on earth so that we could go to heaven, but this miracle at Cana proves that he has a deep interest in our many and varied activities during the course of our journey to heaven.
He told us "ask and you shall receive." That "shall" is very definite, our prayers will be answered, and what we should ask for is not only spiritual gifts, but the temporal aids also which we need. The "shall" applies to them too, as the miracle of Cana proves. We shall get our temporal requests, provided of course that they won't impede us on our journey to heaven. No kind father would give his child a gift that would injure him–God is the kindest of fathers and he sees what will or will not impede or endanger our eternal happiness. We can and should therefore make our temporal needs known to God in our prayers, confident that he will give us what we ask if it is for our real good.
But, someone may object: how often have I asked God for temporal favors I needed so badly, and my prayer was unanswered? Was it unanswered really? Perhaps you did not get the exact thing you asked for but you got something more useful, more necessary, something you never thought of asking for, but the good God saw your need of it. We have a father in heaven who really loves us, and cares for us, let us make our temporal, as well as our spiritual needs, known to him in confident prayer. Our requests will not go unanswered.
Excerpted from The Sunday Readings
by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Day Three: Walking towards Freedom
Today we are invited to celebrate the efforts of communities across our world that are oppressed, like the Dalits in India, as they protest against all that enslaves human beings. As Christians committed to greater unity, we learn that the removal of all that separates people from one another is an essential part of fullness of life, freedom in the Spirit.
Commentary for the Readings in the Extraordinary Form:
Second Sunday after Epiphany
"A wedding took place . . . (Mary) said to Jesus, 'They have no wine.' . . . Jesus said to (the attendants), 'Fill the jars with water . . . Draw out now' . . . When the chief steward had tasted the water . . . become wine . . . (he said to the bridegroom), 'Thou hast kept the good wine until now'" (Gospel).
A lesson to our young married couples of today! Believe and trust in Him to keep your family if you keep His Word! A spiritual change also took place, since "His disciples believed in Him" (Gospel).
Consider the daily miracle of God's "grace that has been given us" (Epistle), to change from evil to good in both single and married life. Jesus "kept the good wine" of Divine Life for us (symbolized by Chalice at left in the picture). We must "fill the jars . . . (of our good will) to the brim" (Gospel).
Let us recognize the "great things" (Offertory) done for our soul through Mary's prayers to Jesus. Like the disciples, let us "believe" and "do whatever He tells" us (Gospel).
— Excerpted from My Sunday Missal
, Confraternity of the Precious Blood