LITURGY

Second of the Year C

WORD OF GOD
The Lord takes delight in you
and your land will have its wedding.
(Isaiah 62:4)

WORD FOR TODAY
The eucharist is God’s wedding feast at which we are invited to be the bride. God provides food and drink for our inmost needs, with such choice fare that cannot be matched elsewhere.

WORDS FOR WORSHIP
Blessed be God the Father who rejoices over you as a groom with his bride.
Blessed be God for ever!
Blessed be God the Son who changes the water of your lives into the wine of joy.
Blessed be God for ever!
Blessed be God the Holy Spirit who leads you to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Blessed be God for ever!
As we bless God for this grace and mercy, may God return his blessing upon us,
the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

FAITH IN FOCUS: AN OPEN INVITATION
When an invitation to a wedding drops through the letter box onto the mat it never fails to perk us up. A sure sign that you need treatment is when the prospect of going to a wedding gets you down!
Because the bible is not concerned to give us a day to day account of Jesus' life we tend to get only an occasional glimpse into his personal, social life. But the wedding at Cana is an exception. We all know the story. The wine runs out. Jesus tells the waiters to pour out from the water jars, and the new wine turns out to be better than the expensive stuff they served at the start of the meal.
Where do we go next? Well, we could talk about the compassion of Mary who wanted to spare embarrassment to the groom’s family. Or we could talk about the fact that Jesus’s wine outclassed the normal brew. Perhaps we could mention the fact that Jesus and his family had a perfectly normal social life like anyone else. Or, of course, we could talk about the miracle.
But if we do talk about the miracle, the first of Jesus’s “signs” as St John calls them, then we can’t stop in Cana. Because John tells us that Jesus worked these signs in order to provoke a reaction in people. When the water was turned into wine Jesus let his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him.
Cana hailed a new age, a new stage in which God would overturn the accepted norms of society and usher in a messianic time, the wedding of life in which God’s intervention is a daily event. God never stops issuing us with invitations to this wedding, to see the wonders that he performs in this world of ours. In fact, the Church refers to the celebrations of heaven as the “wedding feast of the Lamb”.
The wedding is a symbol of integrity, festivity and loving security. And today Isaiah tells us that God has a permanent invitation for each of us to this wedding of life. No longer will we be forsaken or abandoned but we will be on God’s guest list under the name “My Delight”. Wherever we live will be called “Marriage-Land”. And all of this is because “The Lord takes delight in you and your land will have its wedding.”

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