Jan 20, 2019 [ 02 Sunday ] • Isaiah 62:1-5 • •Psalm 96 • 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 • + John 2:1-11 •
Title: Luxury. Love. Cana.
[_01_] Interpretation. How do we interpret this miracle of the Wedding at Cana? Interpretation. How do we bring this into our own day, into our own lives?
In this Gospel, water becomes wine. Unusual. Sometimes, if you are at table with a deacon or priest, say at a dinner … you might say point to the water on the table and say to him – oh…could you please change this water into wine? A little bit of humor.
If you want to tell me that, you can just interpret and abbreviate to me and say, “Gospel of John, Chapter 2” or “John 2.” And, we’ll know that’s the code of changing water into wine. That’s a way to interpret the miracle.
[_02_] Pope Benedict XVI wrote that we might interpret the miracle as APPARENT LUXURY. An “apparent luxury”, But, B16 is teaching not that God is giving apparent luxury but leading us to His ABUNDANT LOVE.
Apparently, there is something happening, but abundantly, there is something else happening. I’d like to touch on this in 3 …The …
1st. Review of the miracle
2nd. Review of a movie.
3rd. Review of our mission
[_03_] 1st. Review of the miracle. Apparently, there is luxury at Cana.
What happened (“went down”)? Well, what “went down” seriously was the availability of cabernet, chardonnay, Pinot G. I wonder if they ran out of white or red first. Jesus stepped in.
But, in closing and solving the case, Jesus taught about God’s ABUNDANT LOVE … not
only by what Jesus did but how ….
This was not just a “replacement” upgrade in which the water is taken away and wine is given, by the host or by the wait-staff.
We know about “replacement”upgrades or conversions.
Technologically… WIN 7 à WIN 10. And, MSFT does not want you to use WIN 7 anymore. They do not want to support it. I upgrade from a shovel à snowblower. These are “conversions” by replacement …not conversions that recognize inherent value of what already is.
MSFT wants you on WIN 10; there is no inherent value in WIN 7 anymore.
You and I are also called to a different type of conversion. But, Jesus is recognizing our inherent value … taking advantage of who we are. He is not replacing us, he is remaking us. Water into wine.
E.g., The Lord also can use our existing fragility and changes this into fortitude. I’d like to touch on this shortly in the “review of a movie” section.
As you are, as I am, we have inherent value … that can be converted, saved… transformed … One example is our attitude toward mercy and forgiveness. We forgive another person not because the other person is bad our forgiveness is going to zap them into something good instantaneously. We forgive because we recognize the good in another person. Similarly, we repent of our sins not only because of what we have done wrong, but because we believe in our own goodness. The old saying: God has created us in his image (“He don’t make trash…”), that we can be changed from water into wine. This is ABUNDANT LOVE.
[_03.01_] 2nd. Review of a movie. In 2016, a Hollywood movie portrayed the real-life true sacrifice of a WW2 battlefield hero in HACKSAW RIDGE.
The movie is about Desmond Doss, of the U.S. Army in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, near the end of WW2.
Desmond is a medic, a military-level EMT on the battlefield, responsible for first aid and frontline trauma care for injured soldiers.
Desmond is a medic or army-EMT both because of his interest in medicine and because of his faith in God as a Seventh Day Adventist Christian. He refuses to carry a rifle. At first, young Desmond seems very naïve – about how the Army will treat his faith and principles. Desmond expected to be treated with dignity and respect, but this does not always happen. They do not know what to expect of him in the battle.
In the battle, many were wounded, but Desmond is extremely daring in his ability to rescue – with absolutely no help 75 soldiers by himself in enemy territory. He receives medals for his service, including the Bronze Star and Medal of Honor.
For Desmond Doss, every person was valuable – he seeks out every possible angle and method to save others.
At one point, he prays – in the movie – Lord, help me get one more, help me save one more, “1 more, 1 more, 1 more … = 75”, saved not simply out of patriotism but out of love. In fact, he even rescues some wounded Japanese and sent them to U.S. Army hospitals.
[_03.02_] The movie – Hacksaw Ridge – is an example of unconditional love and the desire to recognize the inherent value of a person, whether he is wounded, whether he or is your enemy, whether or not the person believes you can do something.
At times, Desmond’s patriotism and sanity are questioned because he refuses to carry a rifle. He does not object to the use of rifles or the value of self-defense, he just will not touch a rifle.
This is not an apparent luxury, it Desmond’s – it is also God’s abundant love to save life, to protect life whenever possible.
[_04_] 3rd Review of our mission.
Some things happening in our church and in our country.
This week – Tuesday – we have a special day of prayer for the protection of human life from conception until natural death.
This coincides with the anniversary of the Roe-Wade Supreme Court decision and of the legalization of abortion nationwide.
This is our Catholic human principle of ABUNDANT LOVE, for life at all stages.
Which includes the person who might be dying or terminally ill.
In states that have legalized euthanasia or the “right to die”, I urge you to question, what does the right to die mean, either now… or possibly in the future? A person’s right to die …
Sounds good, but does not contradict our principles and seize control from God, possibly sending that control to an insurance company or a disinterested party ?
Because, the right to die could become for some people…the duty to die, if I am not dying fast enough.
So, if we permit euthanasia we are saying, I believe that some people have more of a right to live than others.
We are called to put our lives into God’s hands. This is not a luxury, our abundant love and allows God’s abundant love to be present.
In the WW2 movie about Desmond the army-EMT-medic on the battlefield, Desmond manifests something I would call this demonstration of the preferential option, a Catholic principle, in this case, a preferential option for the person who is poor or the person who is vulnerable.
Desmond cares for the person who is vulnerable. This is not a luxury, this is love for him.
Tomorrow is (Monday January 21st) is Martin Luther King Day and Tuesday is a prayer day for the protection of human life.
Dr. King also reminds of a preferential option for those who were segregated, those who were excluded, those who were blocked from access and rights that are – in our terms – INALIENABLE…they cannot be taken away.
That we should respect each other not based on the color of our skin but on the content of our character. What’s our character? That we are human beings, children of God the Father.
And, we believe that God will save us with his grace and mercy, even those who have been harmed, those who have committed sin. All of us are sinners. No matter what has happened in the past, they need our abundant love.
And, we are called to turn to God, to the Blessed Mother who intercedes for us also, who turns us to Jesus and urges us do whatever he tells us. [_fin_]