Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - January 14, 2007
Inviting Jesus to the wedding, inviting Jesus to our lives ... following the homily of Father Cantalamessa
The Gospel of the second Sunday in Ordinary Time is the episode of the wedding feast at Cana. What did Jesus want to tell us by participating in a wedding feast?
Above all, in this way he in fact honored the marriage between man and woman, implicitly reaffirming that it is a beautiful thing, willed by the Creator and blessed by him. But he wanted also to teach us something else. With his coming the marriage between God and humanity promised through the prophets was realized under the name of the "new and eternal covenant."
If we want to find out how the relationship between a man and woman in marriage should be according to the Bible, we must look at the relationship between Christ and the Church. Let us try to do it following the thought of St. Paul on this theme as it is expressed in Ephesians 5:35-33. At the origin and center of every matrimony, according to this vision, there must be love: "You, husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her." BENDEDICT XVI “God is love” love is not amor but agape not a desire of getting but the urgent need of giving and sharing.
This affirmation -- that matrimony is based on love -- seems to us to be discounted today. It’s very easy to say “I love you”, but it’s much more difficult to be consistent and steady when the life become difficult, when this love demands or claims some sacrifices …. How often it is that the young people who during the ceremony of weeding were looking at each other with a genuine admiration few months later can not tolerate each other? Was it the love that directed them towards the marriage or only some kind of strong but yet not deep sentiments?
And wives, what can they learn from their model which is the Church? The Church makes herself beautiful only for her husband and not to please anyone else. She is proud and thrilled about her husband and does not cease to praise him. Translated onto the human plane this reminds fianceés and wives that their esteem and admiration is a very important thing for their fiancé or husband.
But there is something that the model of divine love calls husbands to above all: fidelity. God is faithful, always, despite everything. Today, this discourse about fidelity has become something rather delicate and no one any longer dares to risk it. And yet the principal reason for the disintegration of many marriages is precisely here, in infidelity. Some deny this, saying that adultery is the effect and not the cause of marriage crises. In other words, betrayal happens because there is nothing that exists any longer with one's spouse.
On occasion this is also true; but often what we have is a vicious circle. There is betrayal because the marriage is dead, but the marriage is dead precisely because treachery has already begun, perhaps at first only in the heart. That which is the most odious is when the traitor himself casts the fault entirely on the other and assumes the attitude of the victim.
But let us return to the Gospel episode, because it contains hope for all marriages, even the better ones. What happens in all marriages happens in the wedding feast at Cana. It begins with enthusiasm and joy (the wine is the symbol of this); but this initial enthusiasm, like the wine at Cana, comes to wane with the passage of time. Then things are done no longer for love and with joy, but out of habit. It descends upon the family, if we are not careful, like a cloud of sadness and boredom. Of this couple it must sadly be said: "They have no more wine!"
This Gospel episode points out to the couple a way to not fall into this situation or get out of if they are already in it: Invite Jesus to your wedding! If he is present, he can always be asked to repeat the miracle of Cana: transform the water into wine -- the water of habit, of routine, of frigidity, into the wine of love and joy better than the initial love and joy, just as the miraculous wine at Cana.
Inviting Jesus to your wedding means honoring the Gospel in your house, praying together, receiving the sacraments, taking part in the life of the Church, be present regularly at Sunday Eucharist. And don’t forget please that we always have the delicate and subtle, protective Mother. But she is constantly repeating what she said at the wedding at Cana: “Do whatever Jesus tells you.””