Here is the Bulletin of January 20, 2019
Our gospel today tells the story of Jesus’ first miracle on earth. Interestingly enough, it is not a dramatic story of a miraculous healing, or exorcism, or raising from the dead. But it is fairly prosaic: Jesus intervening at the intercession of his mother, to save a bridegroom’s family from embarrassment, by turning 25 gallons of water into wine.
However, there are some basic lessons to be gleaned from this reading. Mary’s intercessory prayer for the groom’ s family was essential as is our intercession for one another. Jesus is waiting to be invited to make a difference in our lives …. prayer is the key. When Jesus works in our lives he brings greater blessings than we would otherwise have known. Marriage and all other aspects of life are improved by turning to Jesus.
Beyond this, there are other aspects to be explored for those familiar with the Old Testament scriptures. The miraculous provision of a tremendous quantity of wine, fulfills the prophecy of Amos 9:13, that when the Messiah, the long-awaited Savior of Jewish hopes and longings, appears, “the mountains will flow with new wine”. The miracle is therefore a sign of who Jesus is; it is the first of seven such “signs” that Jesus will perform in the gospel of John, leading to the greatest sign and proof of his divine identity, his resurrection from the dead. Therefore, the little chronological note that John provides at the beginning of this passage, that the event occurred “on the third day” (i.e resurrection day) is full of significance.
That the miracle takes place at a wedding points to the relationship between God and his people, so often described as a marriage covenant relationship in the Old Testament (as in our first reading from the prophet Isaiah), as is the relationship between Christ and his Church, cf Ephesians 5. The return of Christ at the end of time for his bride is described in terms of a wedding banquet invitation, so this miracle points to an end-time fulfilment, when God will pour out on his people, the fullest of blessings, and joy will reign supreme.
Come Lord Jesus!!
Here is the Bulletin of January 13, 2019.
This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord Jesus. I always love doing baptisms, because it gives me the opportunity to speak about all the graces and blessings that are released into a person’s life when they are baptized. Sadly, many people these days choose to delay having their child baptized, until they are of an age to make the choice for themselves. But consider this: does any parent wait until a child is of an age to decide for themself, before giving him or her food, clothing, shelter, education. NO, they realise that these are good thing that every child needs, and they make the decision to give these things to their child straightaway, without waiting to have a debate with them about it. It should be the same for having a child baptized. Once you are aware what blessings being baptized brings, it should be a no-brainer to have the child baptized.
So let us remind ourselves with the help of our second reading this weekend, from Paul’s letter to Titus, what graces are released into our lives through baptism:
(a) Rebirth and renewal – we are reborn as a child of God and given a new, holy, nature, that of Jesus.
(b) The Spirit is poured out in us richly – the Holy Spirit makes us children of God, makes us sharers in the divine nature of God, releases gifts of grace in our life
(c) We are justified by his grace – in other words, we are cleansed from the stain of original sin, inherited by our first parents, Adam and Eve, and all sins we have incurred before our baptism are also forgiven. Plus we are given a new grace not to sin in the future
(d) We become heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, and our inheritance is life forever with God in heaven
(e) We have the hope of eternal life- no earthly creature or power could ever give us this, only God
These are only some of the graces and blessings provided by our baptism. Doesn’t it make sense that we should cherish our baptism, be so grateful to those who had us baptized, and seek to grow in the life of our baptism, and have our children baptised as well?
Happy New Year to you all! Here is the bulletin for Sunday, January 6, 2019.
Merry Christmas to all! Here is the bulletin for Dec 24-29. Blessings!