Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reflection for the 2nd Week of Christmas, Part 2

Thursday – Reassuring Our Hearts

We can reassure our quivering, worried, fearful hearts. God loves us. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. He is not waiting to condemn us. In fact, He wants to save us and bring us home to Heaven to be with Him forever. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He understands that we are weak and sinful.

That's why He gives us chance after chance and accepts our repentance immediately again and again. We can have perfect confidence in God. He will not let go of us. Even if we let go of Him, He will do everything to get us back. His will is for our salvation.

So we can reassure our hearts. God wants us. He loves us. We can cling to Him and trust Him to carry us home.

Friday – A Unique People

Ancient Israel was a unique people. God proclaimed His Word to them. He revealed His Name to them and told them more about Himself than they could ever have known on their own. He gave them a law that they might learn how to live according to His will and a covenant that they might become His family. He even provided hints at the wonderful plans He had for their salvation in the future.

We Christians are also a unique people. God has sent His Incarnate Word to live among us: Jesus Christ, our Savior. He has revealed even more about Himself, including the mystery of the Trinity. He has entered into our very souls in order to dwell within us. He has implanted His law of love in the depths of our being. He has made us His children, part of His new covenant family, sharing in His own divine life. He has given us a communion of the saints in all times and places that we may live in unity and share our spiritual goods with each other. He has promised us a place in Heaven if only we remain in His grace.

Indeed, like ancient Israel, and even to a greater extent, we are a unique people, God's people.

Saturday – The Servants at Cana

In today's Gospel, we hear about Jesus' miraculous transformation of water into wine at the wedding at Cana. We know how Mother Mary interceded when the wine ran out and how Jesus used the opportunity to reveal that there was something very special about Him. We realize that the disciples began to believe in Jesus through this sign.

But we may not have thought much about some of the other participants in the miracle, the servants for instance. They were just regular fellows doing their job when they encountered something they couldn't explain. First Mary told them to do whatever her Son said. That must have raised their eyebrows, but there was something about Mary, her gentle authority, her radiant purity, her loving eyes, that led them to obey.

So when Jesus told them to fill six stone jars with water, they did even though they didn't understand why. When He told them to draw out some of the water and take it to their boss, the headwaiter, they did even though they were taking a risk of humiliation or worse if the water was just water. How in the world would they explain that!?! But they obeyed. Something in Jesus' manner and tone reassured them and gave them the courage to do as they were told.

Imagine their surprise when they discovered that the water was no longer water. It was wine! And it was the best of wine! The headwaiter paid no further attention to the servants (probably to their relief!), but they must have been as amazed as anyone else, probably even more so since they knew they had drawn only water to fill those jars.

We hear no more about those servants, but we might wonder how they were changed by their encounter with the miracle of the wedding at Cana. They had experienced something they couldn't explain but also couldn't deny, and they had learned the power of obedient trust.

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