Ordinary Time, 2nd Sunday (C) "What are your intentions?" When my brother was introduced as "the new boyfriend" at his girlfriend's family gathering, her cousin asked him this question. She wanted to know that he was honest and honorable and had her cousin's best interests in mind.

We need to ask God this same question. Intellectually we believe that God is good and that he loves us. However, difficult experiences can cause us to develop negative images of God. Perhaps we see God as...

  1. Absent. Do I feel seen and known?
  2. Threatening. Do I feel safe and secure with God?
  3. Cold. Do I feel comforted and reassured by God?
  4. Angry or disappointed in me. Do I feel that God cherishes me, rejoices in me, and delights in me?
  5. Malicious. Do I know at a deep level that God wills what is best for me?

The first tells us God's intentions: "As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you." God's intentions are a deep, personal, intimate union with his people, a friendship that is similar to the friendship that should exist between husband and wife.

Why would Jesus' first miracle be a party trick at a wedding? Wine symbolizes joy and life. The mother of Jesus serves as a kind of mother of humanity. She looks at all her children and sees that we have run out of joy and a reason to live. So she tells us to do whatever Jesus tells us. He is the answer we are looking for. He can give us the joy and life that we can't get for ourselves. In doing so, Jesus is giving us each an invitation to the banquet of heaven. He is inviting us to be part of the wedding. Will you come to the feast of Heaven and earth, or will you leave Jesus standing at the altar?

(16 Jan 2022)

Going Deeper: Do you struggle to believe in a loving God who has your best interests in mind? What experiences or God images do you have that might trip you up?

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