Saturday, January 30, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Reflections on the Readings
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - January 17, 2010 - Year C
By Dennis Hankins
When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
It's a wedding feast and nothing more distressing could occur at such an occasion. The wine is gone, but the party is not over. What can be done? What must be done?
It is interesting that Jesus links this occasion with his 'hour.' His response to his Mother indicates that this need is not his 'hour.' Addressing his Mother as 'Woman,' was in antiquity an affectionate title of endearment. I suppose much like what we mean when we say, "Dear or Dearest."
For John's Gospel, this beginning of miracles is the first sign of seven signs around which his account of our Lord is told. It is this sign, the changing of the water into wine that demonstrates for John the power of his Master to transform and change coupled with the hint of the last supper transformed into the sacrament of Christ's body and blood, an 'hour' yet to come.
Mary understood the nature of her son's response: "Dearest mother, What does this need have to do with me or with you?" In other words, "Mother, I'll take care of it."
According to the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible this is a Hebrew idiom translated into Greek that must be understood within context. It could be understood as a disagreement of perspective between Jesus and his Mother. On the other hand it can also mean consenting to the will of another without reluctance.
For us, the context is the latter. For when Mary says to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you," she knows her son will meet the need she has brought to his attention. Such is the affection her son has for her; such is the affection the Church has demonstrated for two thousand years for Mary, the Mother of us all.
When Mary, saw a need, she asked Jesus her son to meet it.
And Christ met the need with a miracle of transformation, that speaks of his power to transform us, and all things, for Jesus makes all things new.
Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Reflections on the Readings
The Epiphany of the Lord
January 3, 2010 - Year C
By Dennis Hankins
The Beginning of True Worship
...Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."
In the beginning there was light. We know this because God said, "Let there be light, and there was light." It is the Psalmist who declares, "In thy light do we see light." (Ps 36:10) And in the fulness of time, it is Jesus who proclaims, "I am the light of the world."
Light draws attention. Since the earliest days of creation, humankind has looked up, being captivated by the stars above, imagining and charting the meaning they conveyed. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:2, 3 RSV)
The star in the East certainly captured the attention of the Wise Men from Persia. The star illuminated both the way they should travel and their hearts, for the Wise men from the East not only followed the star, they also discerned the message of the star. The heavenly message was clear: the new born child is both King and Priest. And the gifts they brought with them for this new born King speak of his royalty, his divinity, and his mediation as a priest; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
How we still need the illumination of that ancient star. It provides us with the meaning and the reason for the season. This star still leads us to a greater light, a light that draws us into the life and love of him who is Emmanuel, which means God is with us!
During these Twelve days of Christmas we've a story to revisit, a story to retell to the nations. The Story is that light has come, and that the God who is light received a body from the Holy womb of the Virgin Mary and became man, calling us to his friendship. Therefore, Jesus is the reason for the season. A pastor I recently heard preach said, "And the reason for Jesus is you!" That's right. And what will you do with this offer of friendship?
Will the light of Christmas be extinguished by meaningless partying and wasteful spending? Does the darkness between us and God and each other grow darker still because Christ is taken out of Christmas? For Christmas without Christ is darker than a million midnights.
Let us keep the meaning and the message of Christmas. May we experience a new encounter with the Light of the world. Together let us pray for a true and deeper Epiphany. May the amazement and wonder and awe we sense in the Wise men become our wonder, our amazement, our awe. For on this Altar today is the glory of the Lord, and if we will gaze upon these gifts with our hearts we shall know again the illuminating truth of his words: "This is my body, this is my blood."
For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 RSV)
The Epiphany the Wise men experienced, the Epiphany that is ours today, is the beginning of true worship.
Let us pray: Dear Father, we have come to worship him, thine only Son our Lord, in the power and light of the Holy Spirit. Amen.