2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 17th, 2016

In the first reading gives us the celebration of Joy over the restoration of relationship between God and his people. Years of exile had made people realise their foolishness and now they consider it a privilege to serve the Lord God. God comes to them as a special gift. God had remained silent for a long period of time because of the sins of His disobedient children. Now the people will be obedient and trustful to God who is their saviour.

The reading begins with God breaking the long silence measured by years of exile following the collapse of the kingdom. During that time pride and arrogance lost their hold on the people. Now they are ready to accept God’s plan for them. Israel is now given the royal status and the nation shines like the glorious crown, royal diadem in God’s hands. God honours Israel with the new name, my beloved, my espoused one. They are now God’s people. This wonderful transformation is not for the benefit of Israel alone. All the other nations shall benefit from it. They will see Jerusalem as the beacon of light leading them all out of the darkness. Israel will be their guide. Indeed, the kings and rulers of every nation have seen the glory of Jerusalem.

In the second reading of today Paul enumerates the gifts the Christian Community has received. These gifts are a gratuitous present that has come to each from the almighty. The people of Corinth believed that whatever gift they had, including the spiritual, were due to their own merits. Paul says that diverse though these gifts are, they all come from the one God. All of us have our distinct abilities. We are called upon to use them to  complement one another, for the good of the whole community, for building up God’s Kingdom on earth. Paul lists nine gifts, but the charisms are not limited to nine. Christians receive whatever gifts necessary to fulfill their mission in life. The spiritual manifestations fall into three categories. These are the gifts, the ministries and the activities. The gifts are
attributed to the Holy Spirit who has been sent by the Lord Jesus and the Father. The ministries are attributed to the Lord Jesus, who was sent as God incarnated to minister and to serve. The activities are attributed to God the Father who is the source of all being and activity. Thus the Trinity is involved in bestowing the spiritual gifts. The Father is the source of all the gifts. The Son is reflected in different forms of service. The Spirit is the person who distributes these gifts in the Community.

In the Gospel: for those who see Mary as significant in the life of Jesus but somewhat peripheral to their own spiritual life, the wedding at Cana is a scriptural statement about the relationship between Mother and Son which needs reflection. Jesus is central in that he performs the miracle of changing the water into wine; Mary is central because she leads him to take this action.There are times when Jesus may seem rather distant and many things may weigh us down, affecting our mood and relationships. Mary is always available and always “tuned in” to whatever our human experience is, always ready to intercede with her Son. The Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God was celebrated by the Church on New Year’s Day, which is also designated as the World Day of Peace. The Mother of God who was instrumental in saving a young couple from embarrassment at Cana is also the one who experienced the terrible pain of seeing her Son killed. She is a natural intercessor in the un-peaceful aspects of our relationships and in the bigger issues of peace in our world. With her aid this can be a year when we take the only true road to peace in our own lives, in prayer and in action, and pray unceasingly for an end to the conflicts and oppression which are driving so many people from their homelands.