Homily for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: The Wedding Feast and the Sharing of Gifts
By: Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe
Homily for Sunday January 16 2022
In a typical African society, once a male child becomes an adult, he is then legally permitted to perform those actions reserved for men like breaking of kolanut, initiation into the masquerade cult, marriage, etc. In some societies, manhood is marked with some cultural activities like “Iwa Akwa” or with the attainment of a certain age or even with a landmark achievement like graduation or securing a job. Likewise, with Jesus’ baptism last Sunday, He was commissioned to begin His public ministry as a man. He went about doing good and He loved the people so much as a husband would love his wife. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah in the first reading (Isaiah 62:1-5) when he talks about the marriage between Yahweh (the Bridegroom) and the people of Israel (the Bride).
In most cultures, a marriage feast is characterized by the sharing of gifts. The couple shares their love together and other physical gifts like food, wine, souvenirs, etc are shared with the invited guests. In the gospel, the wedding feast of the couple ran into difficulty when the wine they were sharing finished and Mary informed Jesus that “they have no wine”. Jesus at the intercession of His mother had to manifest His power to intervene in human situations by changing water into wine though it was not yet his time.
This wedding feast draws our mind to the mystical marriage between Christ, the bridegroom and the Church, His bride. This marriage was consummated on the cross of Calvary. As adopted children of God, we are also partakers and sharers of the goods coming from this mystical marriage. Just as our mother Mary did in the wedding at Cana, she still continues to intercede for us and obtain for us those graces and gifts necessary to live a fulfilled life. St Paul in the second reading (1 Cor. 12:4-11) calls these graces and gifts “spiritual gifts” which are to be used for the good of the community.
These spiritual gifts are free gifts of the Holy Spirit. We do not merit them. They should not make us proud but humble because we are not the originators but the dispensers of these gifts. St. Paul describes those who possess these gifts as different parts of one body. As such, they should not be used to disintegrate the one body of Christ, the Church, but should be used to build up the Church. But unfortunately, most divisions and crisis in the Church have been attributed to the possession of spiritual gifts. A common gift which all Christians possess is the gift of a single faith in God which we should try to promote among all Christian churches. That is why this week all Christians offer prayers for Christian unity.
Beloved friends, at baptism and confirmation, we receive these gifts (spiritual gifts) by virtue of this mystical marriage between Christ and the Church. We are required to share these gifts with others and use them for the good of the people. Which particular spiritual gift have you received and how do you share (use) it? Each and every one of us has at least one spiritual gift so do not hoard yours or be selfish with yours. It can never be exhausted no matter how much you make good use of it because it is flowing from the divine sanctuary. Jesus and His mother did not hide theirs and even if you need more, Mary can always assist you. Your ability to pray well, counsel people wisely, serve others, heal the sick and even your social connections could be your gift. Use them wisely. God loves you.
Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe