Homily ·Ordinary time
By Archbishop Gomez
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
January 20, 2013

My brothers and sisters in Christ,1

In our Gospel reading today, we are presented with the beautiful scene of the wedding feast of Cana. It is a beautiful scene from the first days of Jesus’ public ministry that we know very well. It is still the beginning of his public life and, as you recall, last week in our Gospel reading, we heard how Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.

And I think it is very interesting that the first public event that Jesus attends after his Baptism is a wedding. First of all, it helps us to reflect on the institution of marriage. Jesus elevated the civil ceremony of marriage to the level of a Sacrament by his presence there. It is also interesting because it talks to us about how marriage is a part of God’s plan for our world and for our society.

When we are reading the sacred Scriptures, we always have to remember that the history of salvation is a “family story.” It is the story of God creating — from out of all the peoples of the earth — one single family. The family of God. His Catholic Church.

So that’s why we heard in our first reading this morning, the beautiful passage from the prophet Isaiah.

The prophet tells us that when the Messiah comes he will show us that God loves his people like a bridegroom loves his bride.

For the Lord delights in you ...
as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride.

That’s also why Jesus begins his public ministry attending a wedding. This wedding is a sign that Jesus is the Messiah that God promised to send to his people.

As we all know, every wedding is the beginning of a family. Husband and wife become mother and father. So this wedding at Cana is the beginning of the Church. The beginning of the family of God.

And isn’t it interesting that the Mother of Jesus is also there, the Blessed Virgin Mary? Because Mary is not only the Mother of Jesus. She is indeed, the Mother of Jesus. She is also the mother of all the children of God. She is our mother. And in the family of God, in the Church — Mary is always there to help her children. To helps each one of us.

If you think for just a moment what Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother did at that wedding feast of Cana, we will understand a little better how important it is for each one of us to have a devotion to Mary our Blessed Mother.

We know what happened. She realizes they have no wine and she comes to Jesus to ask his help. He kinda said, “What are you talking about? It’s not my business. It’s not my hour yet.”

This is a beautiful dialogue of love between our Blessed Mother and her Son Jesus. And even if he was not too interested in listening to her, we know how mothers are. They know better. So she really did not listen to him too much. So she just tells the servants.

Do whatever he tells you.

My brothers and sisters, those are beautiful words. And these are the last words that Mary speaks in sacred Scripture. And they are a beautiful and important lesson to each one of us: Do whatever he tells you.

In the same way that our mothers teach us how to walk, our heavenly Mother Mary is teaching us how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. How live as children of God.

Do whatever he tells you.

This is how we are supposed to live as children of God. We always have to be thinking about Jesus, reflecting on the images of Jesus that we find in the Gospel. We have to listen to his words and follow his example.

Jesus is always our older Brother, showing us the way to live and the path to follow. He is the One who shows us how to be pleasing to God our Father. So Mary our Blessed Mother, who is our mother, she is giving us, as all mothers do, some good advice:

Do whatever he tells you.

I’m sure you noticed what happens next in our passage of the Gospel. The servants listen to Mary and they do what Jesus tells them to do. They fill those huge containers up to the top with water. And then it becomes the best of wines.

My brothers and sisters, if we live by faith in Jesus, if we listen to him and follow his example, he will transform the “water” of our ordinary lives — all our daily works and struggles — into the best of “wines.” If we strive to always do our best for Jesus, he will do the rest.

This is what St. Paul is also talking about in the second reading of today’s Mass. God gives each of us a portion of his Holy Spirit. He gives each of us the spiritual gifts to serve one another.

So if we do what he tells us — if we use these gifts to carry out our daily duties with a spirit of love for God and love for our neighbor — then God will work “miracles” in our lives every day. The simplicity of our daily life will become a beautiful vehicle in the eyes of God and in our service to one another.

You see, we are the family of God. Mary is always there to help us in our needs. Jesus is bringing us his example and the words we need to follow to have a wonderful life.

So let’s pray today for the grace we need to practice our faith in our daily life, and especially in moments of trial and need. Let’s ask, in this Year of Faith, as the apostles did, let’s ask Jesus to increase our faith: Lord, Increase my faith!2

Let’s also try in this Year of Faith to turn to Mary more and more. To really believe in Jesus and believe in Mary! In heaven, Mary our Blessed Mother is still watching out for her children. She still intercedes for each one of us. She is still telling Jesus all the time, They have no wine. And Jesus, my brothers and sisters, has no choice but to help us and give us the grace we need to have a wonderful life.

So let us turn to our Heavenly Mother right now. Let us ask her to help us obtain the grace we need to really do whatever her Son Jesus tells us to do. Especially pray to her to intercede for our country, as we start a new time with the inauguration of the President. Let us also ask for the grace of peace and justice in our world. When we see so much violence all over the world, Mary the Queen of Peace will intercede that there will be peace in our hearts, in our families, in our country.

Let us also ask her for the institution of marriage in our society and in the Church. That all the trials and difficulties of any marriage will be assisted by the help of the grace of God, and that we will have happy marriages in our society.

Let us ask her for her intercession that Jesus may turn the “water” of our everyday life into fine “wine” for his Kingdom.

1. Readings (Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C): Isa. 62:1-5; Ps. 96:1-3, 7-10; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; John 2:1-11.

2. Luke 17:5. 

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