We are now in Ordinary Time. It is easy to tell because the Christmas decorations are gone, and the color is green again. The Gospels are focused on the public ministry of Jesus. Ordinary Time will continue until Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
The immigrant situation at the southern border of the United States has led to the partial shutdown of the government. One of the effects of this is that the average person who works for the government is suffering. The workers are trying to figure out how to pay bills, provide food for their families and maintain some semblance of life without receiving a paycheck. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved soon so that the workers will be able to maintain their lives. This situation becomes one of justice for the government workers as well as for our country itself.
Today’s Gospel is about the wedding feast at Cana. Like many of us, Jesus was invited to a wedding. Unfortunately, the wine ran out. So Jesus, at the insistence of his mother, Mary, changed water into wine so that the celebration could continue. This was the first miracle Jesus performed during his public ministry. This Gospel is from John, whose Gospel is called the Book of Signs. The reason is that there are signs that reveal the glory of Jesus, who is the sign of the Father for us.
Sometimes, we look for signs that reveal the presence of Jesus in our lives. When they don’t appear the way or when we want them to, then we become angry because we think Jesus has failed us. Yet, there are signs everyday of Christ’s presence. We need to be attentive to recognizing those signs. Sometimes they are in nature, or in the things that happens to us each day. But most of the time the signs are in people, especially the children the Lord sends into our lives to remind us of his abiding presence and love. Of course, there is always the Word or the Breaking of the Bread that reveal the presence of Christ in our life.
As Jesus is the sign of the Father for us, we are the sign of Jesus for each other. Our words and actions reveal to others not just our faith in the Lord, but also our willingness to re?lect the intimate connection with Him. Miracles occur each day when we encounter each other and celebrate our friendship as well as the presence of Christ within and among us. If we are astute enough, we will recognize them. If not, then we will miss another opportunity to experience the wonder of Jesus made real for us.
It is always good for us to reflect on what we experienced during the Christmas Season and how we can continue this during this time of year. The wonder of the Incarnation is that Jesus is reborn in our hearts and lives every time we allow him to be reflected in all we are and do as his people. And that’s a miracle in itself!
~ FR. JOE