Although this is the year of Luke, today’s Gospel reading comes from John. It is the famous Wedding Feast at Cana. It is important to point out that Jesus was no stick in the mud. He enjoyed parties and dinners. He liked people. In fact, most of his miracles and teachings happened at social gatherings. I had a pastor who liked to say, “There is no meetin’ without some eatin’.” When we gather together at table, many great things can happen.
There is a close tie-in between the Gospel and the first reading from Isaiah: God calls us to a new existence in which we are fed. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to take delight in the things of creation. More importantly, the most often used image of heaven is that of a wedding feast. Why? Everyone is usually happy at a wedding. There is good food, a lot of alcohol, and people are free to be themselves. In traditional wedding feasts, the party goes on for several days. It is no wonder that people came to associate weddings with extended feasting and revelry.
A wedding banquet has a loveable cast of characters. Each plays his or her role. Many different and unique individuals comprise the guest list. And that’s what makes the feast interesting. So too in the Church: the second reading reminds us that there are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit. Each one of us has a particular role to play. The challenge is determining which role is mine.
Once we have discerned our particular talent or gift, we must exercise it. The greatest sin against the Holy Spirit is failing to use the talent or gift that we’ve been given. Although it wasn’t Jesus’ time, at Mary’s request, he exercised his gift. He could no longer hide it. He could no longer be anonymous. Shortly after his baptism in the Jordan by John, Jesus had to get to work and begin his ministry. Perhaps he wanted to remain on the sidelines a bit longer, but life happened and he needed to do what he had been called to do.
As we enter into Ordinary Time, we need to ask ourselves, “Am I holding back on exercising my gift or talent?” Am I sitting the sidelines watching life pass me by or am I getting actively involved?
Time is short and fleeting. When we sit down at the Eucharistic banquet what happens to us? Does our meeting and eating result in great things? If not, why not?