Summary: We are called to live our lives as fully as possible.
Seeds for Sowing, Vol. V, Issue 2, No. 8A
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
January 14, 2001
* Is. 62:1-5
* Jn. 2:1-12
A Call to Life
Today’s story of the wedding feast at Cana is, among other things, a call to life. God promises us a new life overflowing with joy and blessings. When Jesus changed the water into wine he was announcing that the kingdom of God had come.
What kind of person would change 120 gallons of water into 120 gallons of the best wine around? Would it be someone who didn’t know how to laugh or have a good time? I hardly think so. Anyone that would do such a thing would have to be a person who knew how to enjoy life and the wonderful gifts that are a part of our human existence.
The Healing Power of Laughter
In a book entitled, The Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient, Norman Cousins tells of being hospitalized with a rare, crippling disease.
When he was diagnosed as incurable, Cousins checked out of the hospital. Aware of the harmful effects that negative emotions can have on the body, Cousins reasoned the reverse was true. So he borrowed a movie projector and prescribed his own treatment, consisting of Marx Brothers films and old "Candid Camera" reruns. It didn’t take long for him to discover that 10 minutes of laughter provided two hours of pain-free sleep. Amazingly, his crippling disease was eventually reversed. After the account of his victory appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cousins received more than 3000 letters from appreciative physicians throughout the world. Norman Cousins discovered the healing power of a good laugh.
Prohibition is not a part of our faith. We don’t forbid dancing or drinking or having pleasure in God’s good gifts. Our faith is a faith that calls us to joy.
The Catholic Stance
Our Catholic faith has always been one to rejoice in the gifts of creation. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is graced with some of the most beautiful pieces of art in the world. Countless pieces of music have been written over the ages to help us in the celebration of the Liturgy. Some of the most beautiful buildings in the world are Catholic churches. As Catholics we have not been shy about enjoying good food and wine. Many monasteries have become famous throughout the world for the food and liquor they have produced. No one could ever accuse Catholics of being sour and dour people. We love to dance and sing and have a good time. And this is as it should be. By taking pleasure in God’s creation we are taking pleasure in the Creator--God. Our enjoyment of creation is our way of saying thank you to God.
The comic writer, Erma Bombeck, has her own point of view on all of this. She encourages us with these words: Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart. Well we don’t have to necessarily gorge ourselves on dessert to prove that we are grateful for all of God’s gifts, but at times we do have to take her advice and seize the moment. How often do we miss the beauty of life because we are so distracted by what seems urgent, but is actually not really that urgent at all.
Pay Attention to the Gift
The old cliché about taking time to stop and smell the roses is as true today as it was the first time someone said those few words. When we pay attention to God’s creation, we are doing what God wants--enjoying the gift. This is our way of saying thank you to the Giver of all that is. When we take the time to watch the sun set, walk in the woods or stroll by the water, feel the warm air on our faces, sit by candlelight listening to music or one of a thousand other things--when we do this, we are saying thank you to the One who is constantly pouring forth beauty into our world.
Besides paying attention to things, we need to pay attention to people. Most relationships could do a little more of this seizing of the moment. Sometimes the greatest way we can love one another is simply to really pay attention to one another. We can do this in many ways. Whenever we thank someone for something they do for us, we are showing an awareness of their actions on our behalf. Families could greatly improve their relationships if gratitude was practiced more often at home. The daily preparation of meals, the washing of clothes and dishes, the cleaning and decorating of the house--sometimes these essential acts of love go unnoticed and unappreciated. A simple and sincere thank you can go a long way towards making people feel loved and wanted.