The Gospel today aims to show how Luke can put together several events to bring home the message he wants to focus on. The scene symbolizes how many of the Jews rejected Jesus, while the ostracized Gentiles readily accepted Him. The woman of Zarephath and the Syrian Naaman represent the Gentiles in general. Many in Israel denied Him, a sign of what is to come - they will try to drive Him out of their cities and eventually be successful in crucifying and putting Him to death.READ MORE
After the baptism of Jesus - from Judea, He returned to Galilee and started His public ministry, which includes preaching in synagogues. - Immediately, news of His preaching and the power of the words of Jesus rapidly spread, and His fame preceded Him everywhere. - His listener marveled at His teaching and were astonished by the authority of His Words. Because of this, more and more people flock to His preaching to hear Him. Words about Jesus slowly reach the ears of Jewish authorities; they start to come or send someone to ask questions or argue with Him.READ MORE
One of the things about Scripture is that even the smallest word and shortest phrase can be critical to the overall message. When you take a quiet moment to rest with the Word, you find how quickly the most mundane sentence can reach out and grab you, pulling you into a deeper contemplation of some truth you hadn’t even considered until then.READ MORE
“If every flower wanted to be a rose,” wrote St. Therese of Lisieux, “spring would lose its loveliness.”
Who is God asking you to be today? There is an obvious answer that springs to mind right out of the gate. God wants me to be a good person (a good father, a good husband) today; today, God wants me to be a saint.
But this answer fails to get to the heart of the question. We are all striving today to serve the same Spirit, but we are given different gifts to do so. The one who has the gift of knowledge may fail if today he decides he wants to be a healer. The one who has the gift of “varieties of tongues” might falter in the expression of wisdom.
Think about the wedding at Cana and the players in the scene: the servers, the guests, the bride and groom. They all have a unique role to play, and though it is to the servers that Mary gives the instruction, “Do whatever he tells you,” her words apply to all.
Today, are we called to be the servers — do we wait on God’s instruction and carry it out, no matter how foolish or impossible it may seem to our human ears? Are we asked to be the disciples, to bear witness to a miracle and to give our testimony? Are we called to imitate the Blessed Mother herself and give encouragement to follow God’s word?
Let us examine our gifts and listen in the silence of our hearts to the direction of the Spirit. Then and only then, let us do whatever He tells us.
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS
The Gospel of the wedding at Cana shows how John the Evangelist could present the earthly dimension and reveal its divine mystery. His narrative is what the theologian Henri de Lubac describes as the spiritual interpretation of Scriptures: “The spiritual meaning is, then, found in all sides, not only or especially in a book, but first and foremost in reality itself.” Divine mysteries and realities are present in and revealed in the ordinary events of salvation history.
To understand the theological implication of the event at Cana, we go back to Jewish Shavuot, or Pentecost, commemorating the giving of the Torah and the covenant at Mt. Sinai. When the Lord offers a covenant relationship to Israel after bringing them out of Egypt, the people responded: Everything the Lord has said, we will do. (Ex. 19:8)READ MORE
“Who is this Christ? Is he like you?”
Perhaps you’ve heard this story, often attributed to the life of St. Teresa of Calcutta. A sick man asked her this question, as he marveled at her tireless service to himself and others in the name of someone named Jesus Christ.
“He is nothing like me,” the saint is said to have answered. “But I hope I am like him.”
Though the authenticity of this exchange cannot be verified, its message rings perfectly true: all the value of our stewardship lies in its relativity to the one in whose name we perform it.
Consider the figure of John the Baptist — a magnificent, towering character even purely from a literary or historical perspective. A martyr who fed on wild locusts and boldly spoke truth to power — a man so great some mistook him for the Messiah.
But why is he great? Because he prepared the way. All his accomplishments and escapades mean nothing if they are taken out of the context of salvation history. He only makes sense relative to Christ — and this is exactly as he wanted it. “One worthier than I is coming,” he insists. And because of that humility and that total embrace of God’s will, he is given one of the greatest honors in the New Testament — he baptizes the Son of God.
Let’s examine our lives in the light of their relativity to Christ. How do we prepare the way? When Christ comes to us, what do we do? How do we leave ourselves open to be actors in God’s plan?
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS
John the Baptist fulfills his role as the precursor of the Messiah - proclaiming a baptism of repentance. He is the voice in the wilderness crying out: Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. People begin to wonder if John might be the awaited Messiah. John is quick to dismiss this claim by saying that someone mightier than him is coming, he baptizes with water, but He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.READ MORE
If you own a television that has been turned on at any point in the last month or so, chances are you’ve caught at least a scene or two of the 1946 classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
If you’re not familiar with the movie, it follows the life of George Bailey from childhood through adulthood. A dreamer by nature, George has big plans for himself that involve world exploration and adventure — but family and community obligations keep him tethered to the same spot on the map, leading an altogether ordinary life.READ MORE
The Feast of the Nativity of our Lord reinforces the truth of His real identity; that He is true God and true man, the incarnate Son of God. The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world, one who gives light to all nations. His light invites us into the radiance of the saving promise of God. The Second Vatican Council calls this radiance: Lumen Gentium, Jesus Christ as the “Light of All Nations.”READ MORE