Fr. Rick’s Homily – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time ‘C’ 1/16/22
Is 62:1-5; Ps 96:1-10; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11
The homily started today with reading excerpts from Dr. Scott Hahn’s short scriptural reflections for this Sunday. Dr. Hahn does an extraordinary job of succinctly summarizing the spousal motif that runs through our Scriptures, Sacraments and Catholic Liturgies. https://stpaulcenter.com/audio/sunday-bible-reflections/in-the-wedding-scott-hahn-reflects-on-the-second-sunday-in-ordinary-time/
So, what’s all this perfectly articulated theology got to do with us? Dr. Hahn says “If we’re sons and daughters of God, it’s because we’re married into the family.” Well, most of you have literally entered into a sacramental marriage, i.e., Matrimony. Marriage is the lifestyle by which you have been formally called by God, as adults, to participate in His family and in His plan of salvation for the world.
The role of Matrimony and its intermingled and intertwining relationship to Eucharist is given more clarification in several paragraphs on chastity in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Read Paragraphs 2364, 2365, 2367
2364 The married couple forms “the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent.”147 Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. The covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble.148 “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”149
2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one’s given word. God is faithful. The Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ’s fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.
2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God.154 “Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility.”155
It’s essential that we give due attention to the relationship between Matrimony and Eucharist. Becoming One. If any of you can remember back to your teens and twenties or if you have had children and grandchildren in this age group, you may have noticed that young people seem to be much more interested in romance and dating (or at least a little lusting) than they seem interested in going to Mass or Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We may easily deduce that humans are hard-wired for ‘becoming one flesh’, but we can just as surely say that we are wired for becoming ‘one Body, one Spirit in Christ’ as we will declare today in the Eucharistic Prayer. As mentioned above this ordered intention of our souls and bodies prefigures the heavenly wedding banquet which is the ultimate meaning and destiny of our lives: Heaven. This is a good time to reflect on the holiness of your marriage and to recognize how the Eucharist continues to strengthen and deepen your lives together. Matrimony is the mode by which God has chosen to bring (most of) you closer to Him. It is the greatest source of your personal testimony to the world and hence the greatest teaching vehicle for your children and grandchildren. As St. Paul tell us, “this is a great mystery”
Marriage is the most tangible way we can experience and understand the type of transcended sense of Communion to which God is calling us.
As mentioned earlier, our discussions on Synodality have been postponed. I’m not exactly sure what will be the new configuration of dialogue which will be suggested, but it will likely include a renewed emphasis on marriage preparation and enhancement as well as the Eucharist.
It might be nice to know that we could immediately jump into some very accessible video based studies on the Mass, Theology of the Body, Salvation History and Catholic Social Teaching. This easy series directed at high school students would help us frame our whole identity and mission as Catholics and do so in a way that would be edifying as adults, but also help us imagine how these mysteries might be presented to adolescents. We probably WON’T do this right away, but we could…
Stay tuned for fuller rollout of Diocesan plans.
Let us now prepare to enter more deeply into our sacred union….