• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 18 January 2019 17:13

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2018

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time John 2:1-11

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestI’m unashamed to say that I’m a “Mama’s Boy”. Whenever I needed something and I can’t get it from my dad, I always turned to my mum and without a doubt my dad would give in. The most significant of them all was when I was expressing my desire to enter the seminary. My dad was against it but my mum convinced my dad to give me my wish and his blessing to enter the seminary. Ironically, when I got ordained as a priest, it was my dad with all smiles as he was proud to have a son as a priest, while my mum was crying because she knew I would be leaving for Australia for my mission. 

In the gospel for today, there was a couple that most probably were friends of Mary, who ran out of wine during their wedding feast. For a couple, the wedding feast is a culmination of months or in most cases a year-long matrimony process. For Jews, there were three stages of the matrimony process. First was the courtship stage where the couple would have a chance to know each other. Second, after negotiations between the two families, the couple got “betrothed”, meaning they signed a document that they were now married but they couldn’t’ live together yet. They must still live with their parents. If the bride was a virgin, they couldn’t live together for a year. If the bride was a widow, they couldn’t live together for six months. Then after the betrothal period, after a few more negotiations, the groom would pick up the bride at her home and bring her to his village where the week-long wedding feast was waiting. After that there was the public marriage ceremony and the wedding feast would start. The wedding feast was so grand and the whole village was invited, so that it would take about a week and with a feast that long, you would need a lot of wine which is a staple in a feasting. 

In this wedding though, the couple got into trouble as they ran out of wine. Of course, when they realised that the wine ran out, they wouldn’t want it to be known as this would cause huge embarrassment for the couple. So most probably, Mary was informed discreetly about the situation hoping that Jesus could do something to salvage the situation. Even though Mary was mildly rebuked by Jesus by telling her “it was not yet time,” Mary told the servers to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. So Jesus did his first miracle by turning water into wine. 

In the gospel of John, there are only seven miracles or what John would describe as “signs”. And if you analyse those miracles, they started small like the one today which is turning water into wine to the greatest miracle that Jesus performed, when he raised Lazarus to life after being in the tomb for four days. And this miracle is also important for another reason and that is the power of Mary’s intercession. During the life of Christ, after the first few years Mary takes a back seat during the ministry of Jesus, only appearing in the most important events in the life of Christ. And this one, the wedding at Cana is considered an important event for this is the first miracle of Jesus. Then during Jesus’ ministry, except for a few verses, Mary seems to have disappeared only to reappear when Jesus was hanging on the cross. And yet, we are convinced that Mary is always there throughout the life of Jesus. 

That is why for us Catholics, Mary is a very important person in our faith. Even the National Geographic Magazine in its front cover for December 2015 declared Mary as the “most powerful woman in the world”. While we also believe that we can pray directly to God without the need for intercessors like the saints and the Virgin Mary, however, we find it very useful and easier to pray to a person that we can associate with much closer like the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. And the church is not discouraging us from doing that because we all believe that all prayers would go to God. 

As we continue to reflect on this beautiful gospel passage, let us continue to call on Mary to intercede for us. We all believe that as Jesus couldn’t say no to his Mother Mary, we also believe that if we request Mary to intercede for us, Jesus won’t say no to that too.