January 20, 2019 — Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s readings remind us of the amazing privilege we have and the serious responsibility it is to be good stewards of the gifts God has given us.
The second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians shows us how personally God loves us and how uniquely He has chosen to create each one of us: “Brothers and sisters: there are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”
While Paul is speaking here of spiritual gifts, we know that everything we have — intellectual gifts, material resources, even our personalities — all are undeserved blessings from above.
Everything we have, therefore, is intended to benefit those around us. Because God has made each one of us with unique and differing gifts, the parish family truly does need each of us. It’s a wonderful — and at the same time — sobering reality. Our parish family will be vibrant only when all members, young and old, share their gifts with the community. It will suffer if even one member holds back.
The Gospel reading, from John, recounts the familiar story of the wedding feast at Cana when Jesus launched His public ministry by performing His first miracle at his mother’s request. In the midst of the feast, the Blessed Mother noticed the wine had run out, which would have caused great embarrassment to the hosts. Our Lady pointed out this problem to her Son. Then, she gave the servants instructions that are equally applicable to us modern-day stewards. She says, “Do whatever He tells you.” Jesus gives the servants a simple and seemingly mundane task, telling them to fill some stone jars with water. They did what he told them to do — just as the Blessed Mother instructed. And Jesus used their obedience in the accomplishment of that simple task to perform His first miracle, turning that water into the choicest wine.
Our Lord didn’t have to include those servants in order to perform this miracle — He chose to. And today, 2,000-plus years later, He still chooses to include us in the performance of His miracles through our cooperation with Him in using the gifts and talents He has given us. What a privilege!
Let us take care to listen to our Blessed Mother. Let us examine our lives this week to see if we really are doing whatever He tells us and cooperating with God to make the best use of the gifts He has given us for the benefit of those around us. If we all take this call seriously, He will perform miracles in our families and our parish.