From a homily on the wedding at Cana.
A homily on Same-sex Marriage by Archbishop LaRade, O.F.A.
Second Sunday after Epiphany: January 17, 2016
Delivered by Most Reverend Roger LaRade, O.F.A.
Beloved Disciple Eucharistic Catholic Church, Toronto
Jesus "comes out"
Romans 12: 6-16, John 2: 1-11
This past Wednesday, the tirtheenth of January, we commemorated the Baptism of Jesus, and in doing so, we ended the season of Christmas-Epiphany. Today we celebrate the second Sunday after Epiphany. This year this is the only Sunday after Epiphany that we celebrate. Next Sunday, we enter already into the Pre-Lent season with Septuagesima Sunday. So, today is our only ‘green’ Sunday in a while and for several months to come.
I was of two minds in preparing the homily for this Sunday. It is, of course, an opportunity to talk about the Sacrament of Marriage, and of our Church’s position of inclusive Marriage. I’ve already issued a Pastoral Statement on inclusive Marriage. I will repost this on our Church Blog. But, I decided to focus on the significance of the miracle, or sign, performed by Jesus at Cana.
Over the Christmas-Epiphany season we have relived by our liturgical celebration and observance the foundational moments of the life of Jesus: His birth, the adoration of the Magi, Jesus at the age of twelve showing wisdom in the Temple, and His Baptism in the Jordan. Today, we are invited to be present at the wedding at Cana, where Jesus performed the miracle which is seen as the beginning of His public ministry.
In each of these ‘moments’ in the life of Jesus, there is a manifestation, and each one seems to widen the scope of the manifestation. We can go back to the Annunciation to Mary by the angel Gabriel, a private revelation, or manifestation; as well as, the revelation to Joseph in his dream. The Angelic praises in the “Glory to God in the highest” at the Nativity was witnessed by a small group only. Then, we have the Magi, who follow the star in faith, and adore the Child Jesus, again a revelation to a small group. Today, with the miracle at Cana, Jesus “comes out” if you will. We hear that by this action, Jesus “revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.”
Whenever we hear the gospel proclaimed at Mass, or when we read a gospel passage as part of our private or communal prayer, we should keep in mind that the purpose for reading this material is not primarily to read about historical facts. It isn’t even about drawing some lesson – practical or moral – from the passage read. Rather, we should hear or read scripture keeping in mind that in our reading, we are being invited to see it’s meaning for our present reality. In other words, in reading about Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding at Cana, we need to ask ourselves where, when and how this happens today. Let us ask ourselves: “What is it like to drink of the wine of Jesus?”
The Gospel passage for today’s Mass of the Second Sunday after Epiphany concludes by stating that in this miracle at Cana Jesus “revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” So, this action of Jesus is another manifestation in line with the manifestations we have been celebrating during Christmas-Epiphany. Yet, there seems to me to be a difference. The manifestation we witness today seems to me to be a self-manifestation. Until now, the manifestations have all happened to Jesus, as it were. Remember these manifestations over the past several weeks: His birth, the adoration of the Magi, His baptism. Even the episode of Jesus’ teaching in the Temple can be viewed as yet an immature event since it portrays Jesus at the threshold of His coming of age.
It seems to me that as we reflect on the past several Sundays we discern a process of maturation, a process of growing up. We have followed Jesus from birth to adulthood. We have now come to a point when Jesus is the agent of His own transformation; He is actively deciding to manifest Himself, to show Himself for who He is, accepting and incarnating the divine will for His human life. We may even wonder whether Jesus was not in fact revealing Himself as He was discovering Himself. If we truly believe that Jesus was fully human, this would seem to be more than likely.
In other words, through the significant moments in His life, as well as through the day-to-day living of what is known as His ‘hidden life’ – through this process of maturing, of growing in self-knowledge – Jesus discovers Himself for who He truly is. And, just as progressively, Jesus accepts His vocation and lives it out.
The same is asked of each one of us; nothing more, nothing less.
So, we come to Cana, a small town located in the north of Galilee. With Jesus we are at a wedding feast and we drink of this water changed into wine. We taste this wine which is “choice wine”, the best wine, better than any wine we have ever tasted.
How does this wine make me feel?
What effect does it have on me?
What does it tell me about our host and his regard for me, his guest?
This wine is the wine we taste at every Communion. Jesus is our priest. The water changed into wine, the wine changed into blood. This wine, this blood, is “the wine of divinity”. This wine, this blood, is “the wine of the life of God”. We take part in this self-manifestation of Jesus at every Mass we attend. Those of us who receive the wine of Jesus receive His Spirit, and so become one with Him. How appropriate then that this miracle takes place at a wedding feast, the celebration of union.
Sharing in the wine of Jesus calls us to live the life of Jesus. It calls us to maturity, to an unfolding self-discovery of our vocation, to a manifestation of our self to others, in discerning our God-given gifts to live out our vocation, as is pointed out in the Epistle reading today.
As we join in the celebration of the Eucharist, let us pray that we may taste the wine of Jesus, that His life may flow into our life, and that our life may flow into the world.
 Aemiliana Löhr, The Mass Through the Year, Volume One – Advent to Palm Sunday (1958: Longmans, Green & Co Ltd), p. 88.
 Ibid., p. 88.
Little Hearts Group -Poor Clare Ty Mam Duw
Little Hearts are a group of Poor Clare friends, who receive a daily spiritual sharing from us at Ty Mam Duw to help them on their journey to God. By this means, our friends, keep in touch and have the assurance of our prayers. The themes of these sharings are the gift of the Holy Spirit; he is the author!
Heart Speaks to Heart
Dear Little Hearts,
This past Monday was Blue Monday, it marks a day when we are encouraged by the church to reflect upon those in our families and surrounds, and elsewhere who suffer from mental health issues. Depression and mental illness are a great cross for the sufferer and their families, it calls for the greatest compassion, patience and mercy. By and large it tends to span a greater time space than physical illness and by its nature demands more of others.
Anyone whose behaviour does not appear to fit the ‘ mould ‘ can be labelled as ‘mental ‘, this is not necessarily the case at all. The bullying, verbal abuse that we can see in our society for those who are ‘different’ is totally unacceptable.
Too often when man cannot understand another, others, they are tagged neurotic. We see this actually often in the lives of the Saints, people who suffered because of a total wrong interpretation of their actions or words. Saint Faustina certainly had this experience.
Among our Little Hearts group ( numbering about 350) there are quite a few people who either themselves, or have a releative suffering from depression or mental illness, eating disorders, addictions etc.
There are also valiant souls who have a depenedent parent with Alzheimers.
For some radical healing is possible, for others new life is possible, it can be a long road to recovery but it is possible and even those with chronic diagnosed mental illness can with love and care attain to be better quality of life. Lets remember and pray on Blue Mondays for all the mentally ill.
LOVE is the greatest healer.
Prayers for 'Blue Monday'
The third Monday in January is often dubbed 'Blue Monday' - the most depressing day of the year - due in part to debt levels, bad weather, divorce rates and the number of days since the Christmas holidays. For those suffering from longer-term depression and mental illness, January may be just a bit harder to bear.
In the run up to Blue Monday, the Mental Health Project of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has been raising awareness of St Dymphna - the patron saint of those with mental or nervous disorders or mental illness and of the St Dymphna Befriending Group- a support group for those facing mental health challenges.
Joanne Bird, a mental health practitioner and the co-ordinator of the befriending group says: "Mental distress can strike at any time in anyone's lives, and that's when it's so helpful to have someone kind nearby who will listen to you and support you".
Gail Sainsbury who works on the Mental Health Project at the Bishops Conference said: "I will be praying on 'Blue Monday' for all those who are in particular need at this time."
Prayer to Saint Dymphna for help:
Good Saint Dymphna, great wonder-worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. (Mention it.)
Saint Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.
(Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.)
Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mental Peace
Mother of tranquillity, Mother of hope,
Our Lady of Mental Peace, we reach out to you for what is needful in our weakness.
Teach a searching heart that God's Love is unchanging, that human love begins and grows by touching God's Love.
Let your gentle peace be always with us and help us to bring this same peace into the lives of others.
Our Lady of Mental Peace - Pray for us.
For more information about the St Dymphna Befriending Group and St Dymphna see: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/blue-monday-130116
More about the project: http://www.mentalhealthproject.co.uk/project_9.html
The Story of St Dymphna: https://franciscanmissionassoc.org/prayer-requests/devotional-saints/st-dymphna/story/
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