January 16: Second Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings: 1. Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm: 96; 2. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Gospel: John 2:1-11.
After a series of Sunday feasts, we now return to a more ordinary sequence of Sunday observance. And so these Scripture passages centre us on our everyday faith world.
Isaiah’s message is one of hope and joy-filled expectation. At the heart of his prophetic words is great trust in the power of God to restore his people to happier times. And so what he proclaims in these verses is a promise that Israel will be given a new form of life. Much rejoicing and a renewed understanding of all that truly binds God’s people together will visibly confirm the reality of the promise.
That vibrant sense of community is also evident in the almost hymnic words Paul addresses to the Corinthians. His use of repetition drives home the point that all, with their individual gifts, contribute to the well-being of the Church’s life. That variety in unity, especially under the power of the Holy Spirit, is a genuine sign of God’s plan at work among his people. And we today rightly participate in that vision through communion of life and our giftedness made visible to the world around us.
Found only in John’s Gospel, the Wedding Feast of Cana event speaks to a similar expression of joyous communion. And, in addition, it proclaims the superabundant grace that the Lord Jesus bestows on the family of the Church. Every character present in this Gospel episode demonstrates what it means to play a personal part in gathering and rejoicing together, whatever the occasion may be.
Interestingly, each of today’s biblical authors orients our thoughts in a certain direction. Fundamentally, then, each one leads us to contemplate what it is that makes us a communion of gifted believers who have received much, and are sent forth to share that richness with the community at large.