16th Jan, Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Year C

Our readings today deal with the union of the man and woman as God’s plan. The first reading compares this to God’s union with his people. And in the Gospel Christ stresses the importance of marriage by changing water into wine for relations celebrating their wedding. Lets confess ways we fail in married constancy..

“Male and female he created them; in the image of God”. I often wondered how being male and female makes us like God? I think the answer is that man and woman united in body and soul in enduring love images the Trinity. With children they form a threesome of creative fruitful love such as the God is. For we now understand the Trinity as the force behind all creative life in the world. The great plan of this one God is that every person born into the world should be born of love. That’s why casual sex is wrong, it reduces the sacredness of loving sexual union to selfish passing pleasure. God’s plan is for a constant union of the sexes to bring the unity of love and family togetherness to the world.
That’s why we see Jesus in today’s gospel beginning his ministry at a wedding. He came to restore in us the image of God which true marriage symbolizes, and when he died he created a new marriage of God and humanity, the church. He is its bridegroom and we, his people, the church, are the bride as it were. We constantly bear children for the increase his family through. baptism. So we’re the ever increasing family of God in Christ. Everywhere he went Christ turned life into love. The challenge for us in union with him as the church is to do the same. One key way to do this is good Christian marriage. For at Cana Christ both blessed marriage and infused it with a new ideal of enduring faithfulness which his risen power and makes possible. Good Christian marriage is redemption for the world, provided they last. For most unions start off great but at some stage the wine runs low. Then comes the test, to keep the best wine to the end.
To say at any stage “there’s nothing in it for me any longer” is to reduce marriage to cynical worldly standards. “I’ll love you as long as it suits me”, the world’s version of love. But our vow at the altar is to go one loving no matter what. Christian love in marriage is a constant choice to go on loving even when the going gets tough. It involves a suffering self-giving like Christ on the cross. This is true of our relations with God as with one another. For love as suffering faithfulness conquers even death.
And we should never forget that we’ve a caring heavenly mother in our struggle to be faithful Christian husbands, wives and children. Mary life of love began with her annunciation “I do”; we echo that I do in marriage. At Cana we see the sensitivity of Mary to the couples’ needs. She notices the wine has run low, the occasion could be ruined for the young couple. So she begs Jesus to intervene, to begin his ministry by helping a marriage. Then again, in Nazareth, with Joseph and Jesus, she presided over the perfect family. She followed her child to the cross and waited in the sealed room with the apostles for his Spirit to come. The picture emerges of a person who loved in good times and bad, a great gentle faithful wife and mother, a model for each marriage. Christian life and marriages are watched over this heavenly trinity of Jesus Mary and Joseph. Lets live our lives and marriages then in their light, and in the light of the triune God. In marriage, the family, and society let our love be real and constant so that we’ll transform the world into an image of the perfect home which is heaven. For this world passes but Christ is Lord of suffering, faithful, enduring love forever and ever, amen. So as God own committed to marriage, true love, and faithfulness to Christ and his church, let’s profess our faith.

Prayers of the Faithful
And as the people of God lets pray now for all our needs, especially the needs of married people..

For the Holy Father and leaders in the church that they may continue to affirm the importance of Christian marriage..

For civil leaders that they may pass laws that support marriage and the family and so serve the good of society..

For our youth that they may see importance of the sacrament of matrimony, that it gives the essential extra grace of God to maintain a union of true love between them and their beloved.

For the sick, the aged, and especially those who have lost beloved spouses that they may be consoled by our love and care until they are united with their beloved ones again forever..

For our dear departed that through our powerful communal and eucharistic intercession for them they may reach their final rest in the lord and with those who have gone before them in faith..

And we ask all these prayers through Christ who is one with his holy people and intercedes for them forever and ever, amen.

There’s a joke about a man who put an ad in the paper: “wife needed, donkey dead”. Marriage today isn’t donkeywork but a joyful union of equals. This reminds me of another joke: the first year of marriage the wife speaks and the husband listens; the next year of marriage the husband speaks and the wife listens; the third year of marriage they both shout and neighbors listen. There’s a point in the joke in that good marriage involves listening, sharing and respecting each other’s feelings. For when we realize the other person’s not perfect, the challenge is to still love them wart and all. To hang in there when trials come so that the union will mature and produce the best wine at last. Lets ask Mary to help married couples in this..Hail Mary.