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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Homily 1-20-2013 A Better Wine


 This world offers inferior wine. If you want the good wine, you have to go to Jesus.
Someone who just met me asked if I was 21 yet. Now I know I look really young, and I certainly still am, but I assure you that I really am 28 and have tasted good wine and I have tasted bad wine – and thanks be to God I know what's good and what's week-old, nasty skunk wine. If that was my first glass, I may be a teetotaler!
Jesus manifests Himself to His disciples with wine, at a wedding – both symbols of joy. This should remind us that joy (real, sincere joy) is a sign of God, and if we don't have joy in our lives, we might be missing out on God!
Christian Marriages are meant to be joyful because the Christian life is meant to be joyful. If you want to have real joy in your life, let Jesus lead your marriage, and always invite Mary.
Marriages always start out joyful. There really is the wine of joy to be found in a nice ceremony, then dancing, cake, etc. But sooner or later, and it may be years down the road, that wine will run out. The honeymoon phase will end, and marriage cannot run on the fumes of human euphoria forever. Neither can priesthood or any life-long commitment! This drought is where where marriages can potentially stagnate and so many people sadly just give up. They feel they have drank the wine to the end, they have bought the lie that there is nothing more for them, when this is only an invitation to more.
This pain arises because the human heart knows there is something more out there.
We have to move to something deeper, and this will demand something great of us: we have to humble ourselves before Jesus, preferably through Mary, and tell Him “we have no wine.” Then, even harder than admitting our weakness, you must “do whatever he tells you”: no matter how difficult it may seem, whether it is growing in your prayer, changing your lifestyles, converting to the teachings of the Church, whatever.
This command, “do whatever He tells you,” comes from Mary. Mary knows that it is scary to obey God completely. She also knows, as St. Paul says, that “the sufferings of this present life are nothing to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us” in Heaven. Mary is telling us: there is better wine coming! This isn't the end!
So don't settle for mediocrity. Water = natural, pure, true, Good, moral. Wine = fulfilled, elevated, transformed to an absolutely higher plane. Notice that this does NOT destroy what was there, but making it more than it already was!
Marriage is a sacrament!, i.e., an effective sign of Grace that was instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church. The spousal love of husband and wife are meant to not just symbolize God's love, but actually to make it present, that's what an efficacious sign means: I mean the difference between a picture of the Grand Canyon and actually being there. A holy sacramental marriage makes the love of Jesus for His Bride, the Church, physically present by loving daily with the same dramatic love of the Cross, the love we experience in the gift of the Eucharist – here at the wedding feast of the Lamb. As this kind of living and breathing Gospel, marriage teaches the faith of the Church. CCC 1666 The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.
So let's not give up in our vocations, especially in the great sacrament of matrimony, when the inferior wine runs out. Remember that God hold the good wine until later, for those who are faithful.
 This world offers inferior wine. If you want the good wine, you have to go to Jesus.


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