Homily ·Ordinary time
By Archbishop Gomez
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
January 20, 2019

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,1

We had a beautiful celebration yesterday with OneLife LA and then in the evening we had the Requiem Mass for the Unborn here in our Cathedral. You can see the candles that are now lit on the Plaza which reminds us of the importance of the protection of the unborn.

And that’s good for us today as we continue our reflection on the Culture of Life and God’s plan for humanity.

The Gospel that we just heard, we know it really well — it is the beautiful story of our Lord Jesus Christ’s first miracle, at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.

So we know the scene and we can picture it: it’s a big, joyful wedding filled with family and friends and loved ones. And there is Jesus — right there in the middle of this celebration of love.

It is interesting that Jesus chooses to perform his first miracle at a wedding, with his own mother present there. And they both probably knew the bride and the groom.

I think by this miracle, Jesus wanted to bless and sanctify married love — that special love of husband and wife that brings new life into the world.

And even more than that, he wanted to show us that the marriage of man and woman is a symbol of how much God loves each one of us.

Jesus came to share our life in order to reveal the beauty and holiness of human life. We don’t think too much about it — the extraordinary love of God, for each one of us — for human life.

But we have to remember that God’s love is passionate and personal. He loves each one of us with the same love that a husband has for his bride.

We just heard in the first reading of today’s Mass those beautiful words from the prophet Isaiah:

For the Lord delights in you
As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
So shall your God rejoice in you.

My dear brothers and sisters, God loves all of us without conditions and without exceptions. Young and Old. Weak and Strong. No matter the color of our skin or where we came from.

And then God has entrusted his great plan of love to us — to his Church. To all of us. To the people of God. He calls us to build his kingdom of love and life. To show the world his glory — his love for every human person.

So I think it’s the first reflection today as we contemplate, once again, Jesus at that wedding feast to understand how he’s bringing to us the understanding of the extraordinary love of God for each one of us.

Then, I was reflecting on the fact that Jesus was invited to the wedding. And I think that is saying something to us. I think it helps us to understand how we need to invite Jesus in our lives, into our families and homes, into our society. God loves us and he wants to be with us. So we need to invite him to be a part of the everyday ordinary things in our lives.

Think about it. Cause I think it is important for us to have that presence of Jesus in our family, in our work, in the ordinary things that we do everyday. But it helps if we invite him to be with us.

Then going back to the passage of the Gospel, Jesus tells the servants at the wedding, “Fill the jars with water.

And I was thinking that our lives are like these water jars in the Gospel today. Jesus wants us to fill our lives with the “water” of love, with the water of good works, using our gifts to please God and to serve others in our daily lives.

St. Paul tells us in the second reading today that God gives each of us “spiritual gifts” and calls us to “different forms of service.”

So think about it: what is it that God has given to you — all the talents and graces and opportunities in your life. And God wants us to take these gifts that he has given us and to use these gifts to build up his Kingdom. To share with people, again, that extraordinary love of God for each one of us. For every human person.

And the way it happens, in the reality of our lives, that we share with others those gifts and blessings that God has given to us.

And there’s so many little ways that we can serve God everyday and help other people to discover the love of God in their lives. Just giving our attention to someone who needs us — maybe someone in our families, maybe at work or at school.

We can do so much in a simple way — just being with people and listening to them, offering a word of encouragement and hope. And of course, reaching out to those who are suffering and continuing to work for justice and peace in our society.

And this is the “water,” that Jesus is talking about in the Gospel, my dear brothers and sisters. It’s as simple as that.

And Jesus will take this “water” — all of those gifts that we have received from God and offer to him in the service of others. Jesus will take these things and transform them.

He will take all those goods — that “water” — and turn it into the “good wine” of the love and presence that people need and the Church is bringing to the world.

Finally, everything starts in obedience to the word of Jesus. And this is what his mother Mary says in the Gospel today, she tells the servants, as we know: “Do whatever he tells you.

Again, it is very interesting when we reflect on the passage of the Gospel how Mary Our Blessed Mother is just helping us to understand how a relationship with Jesus should be.

This is “who” Mary is. She is always the mother of Jesus and our mother. She is compassionate to us in our needs as she was compassionate with the bride and the groom in that wedding. She knew that they didn’t have wine, so she knows when we “have no wine” and she intercedes for us, asking Jesus to help us.

And she always has good advice for us, as we know: Do whatever he tells us.

So it’s a beautiful passage of Gospel, as I said, that we know well. And it has very practical applications to our daily lives, so I hope that we continue to reflect on it this week.

We always have to be thinking about Jesus, reflecting on the image of Jesus that we find in the Gospel. We have to listen to his words and follow his example.

So, this week, let us try to reflect on the love that God has for all of us. A deep love, a strong love — like the love of a husband for his bride.

Let’s ask our Blessed Mother to help us to do our best for Jesus. So that that he will turn the “water” of our every day life into fine “wine” for his Kingdom.

1. Readings: Isa. 62:1-5; Ps. 96:1-3, 7-10; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; John 2:1-11.

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