Thursday, 18 January 2018

2nd Sunday after Epiphany 14 Jan 2018 Sermon

2nd Sunday after Epiphany 14.1.18 The new wine

The miracle of Cana is an extension of the Epiphany, another ground-breaking revelation of the power of God, working now through the adult Christ.

Thus begins a series of many public miracles, each of which sends out a challenge to each person: are you with Me or against Me?

The Jews were divided over Him. Some believed, others always wanted more proof.

We should not believe too readily every claim of religious phenomena, but on the other hand we should not be sceptical to the point of rejecting everything in advance.

We cannot restrict God. It is His creation after all, and He can intervene at any point and in any way.

So He can turn water into wine, walk on water, make it come out of a rock, make it part in the middle, and make it go quiet in a storm – all of which He has done.

Generally God lets the world run on the laws that He has put in place. But He always has the right and the power to override those laws.

Miracle or not, ordinary or extraordinary, the most important thing for us is to be in union with Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Are we prepared to put our faith in Him as the one and only Saviour of the universe, or are we going to try to level Him out with other possible saviours – thus reducing Him to no more than a source of inspiration?

Other religious figures can be inspiring in places, but they do not work the miracles that Christ did, especially raising people from the dead, not least raising Himself! How many people can do that?

And all that He does is good. He does something advantageous for the people receiving the miracle; and for everyone else He gives a taste of what salvation is like.

He solves problems, such as today’s shortage of wine; and even better still He helps people come to faith. This coming to faith is a greater blessing than whatever the miracle brought about.

Turning water to wine is a symbol of what He is doing for us. He is enriching us, upgrading us to something better.

From now on this is how we do things around here. This is the New Covenant taking root.

Human nature itself has been upgraded in Christ’s human nature. Other elements of creation may be receiving an increase in quality too. All nature longs for the fulness of Christ’s salvation (cf Rom 8,19-27).

The miracles will come, when needed, and for our good.

In the face of so much power and goodness, we come to take God seriously.

We come to realize that a miracle is being worked in us, a miracle of transformation, whereby we become people of charity, and all the other virtues mentioned in today’s epistle (Rm 12,6-16).

Drink the string drink (that is, receive Him fully, without condition) and we will ourselves become the new wine, as in perfect.

It has to be a full acceptance. We cannot half-believe, or half-commit.

He will help us with this. It may not be as quick as the Cana miracle, but if we show signs of commitment He will build us up in all the virtues, another miracle of transformation. Why did we leave it till now to become the best wine?!

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