Welcome to the season of “epiphanies.”
In these days the Liturgy shows us God’s revelation of Jesus as the Messiah to the shepherds, the Magi, King Herod, John the Baptist, and those gathered around John at the Jordan. This week, the first weekend of ordinary time, we are at a wedding where Jesus reveals Divine power by turning water into wine. Pope St. John Paul II gave us a beautiful gift when he introduced the Luminous Mysteries into the Rosary signifying these epiphanies. The second “epiphany” is the subject of today’s Gospel, the Wedding. In John’s Gospel, the miracle at Cana is the first of seven “signs” – miraculous events by which Jesus showed us this Divinity. Mary, Jesus, and the apostles, were guests at the wedding feast, and when the wine “ran short,” Jesus’ mother told Jesus about it. What can we learn from today’s Gospel passage?
- We need to “invite Jesus and Mary to remain with us in our homes.” St. John Mary Vianney suggests this as the solution for many of our family problems. He used this to encourage parents to create an atmosphere of prayer, Bible-reading, mutual love, mutual respect, and sacrificial service at home, so that the presence of Jesus and Mary might be perpetually enhanced and experienced in the family.
- We need to obey the only command of Mary, “Do whatever tells you.” This is the only recorded command of Mary in the New Testament and it is a prerequisite for miracles in our families. The Bible tells us how to do the will of God and effect salvific changes in our daily lives.
- We need to learn to appreciate the miracles of God’s providence in our lives. God, often as an uninvited guest in our families, works daily miracles in our lives: protecting us from physical and moral dangers, providing for our needs, inspiring us, and strengthening us with His Holy Spirit.
- Just as Jesus filled the empty water jars with wine, we need to fill the empty hearts around us with love. By the miracle of Cana, Jesus challenges us to enrich the empty lives of those around us with the new wine of love, mercy, concern and care.
- We need to appreciate the miracle of the Real Presence of the Lord on the altar. The same Jesus, who transformed water into wine at Cana, transforms our gifts of bread and wine into His own Body and Blood, Soul, Divinity, under the appearances of consecrated bread and wine, in order to give us spiritual nourishment. If our families have lost the savor of mutual love, let us renew them at the altar with the invigorating power of the Holy Spirit through the Body and Blood of Jesus.
Just a note…
Christmas season is now completed. I am filled with gratitude for every grace and blessing that we as a parish have received during this wonderful season. Many people have worked together to make this time truly blessed and filled with God’s Grace: the parish staff, St. Vincent de Paul and the huge success of 2021 Christmas Giving Tree project, our music director Pat Knorp as well as the choir, the contemporary choir, many volunteers who helped us decorate and undecorate the church (special thanks to Geri Borys, Barb Bushey, Ken Schweitzer for coordinating the decorating and of course to Kathi Carzon for taking good care for our flowers ;-)), the children who made the nativity scene real before the Christmas Eve Mass, ushers, Eucharistic Ministers and every person who prayed in our church. I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful parish community. For your love for St. Genevieve – St. Maurice, for your time, talents, and financial support I am deeply grateful.
I had only four days to celebrate Christmas with you in the church. The Tuesday after Christmas, my COVID journey began. It wasn’t fun but it wasn’t anything dramatic. Thanks be to God and to you for your prayers, I am back, still building my strength but getting better and better every day. I am very grateful for your support, text massages, cards, emails, phone calls and a lot of “goodies.” Please continue your prayers, especially for those COVID has affected and those terminally ill. May they find strength to carry their suffering with Jesus.
I’d like to share with you a few ideas that we as a parish have been planning. This upcoming Monday we will start reconstructing the choir loft to make this place safer, more open and more practical. So, don’t be surprised when you see a lot of construction work by the organ. The next step, (hopefully in February) you will see new LED lights in the whole church, to eventually save energy and make our church brighter. And the third step (hopefully in March) will be new carpet in the whole church. These are big and expensive, but necessary projects to make our temple beautiful, safe, and more practical as a building. This our temple, this our church, this is our home. Hopefully you will not only understand, but you will like all the changes we are going to make.
May God bless all of you!