Fr. Daniel Gifford
The Epiphanies never cease
“Here am I, Lord. I come to do Your will.” This weekend’s psalm response almost sounds like it could be the response of the servants at the Wedding Feast at Cana
after the command of Our Lady: “Do whatever He tells you.” While this was not the Gospel for this week-end, it is extremely relevant to reflect upon in relation to this weekend. Let me explain. The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time is a sort of transition out of the Christmas Season. Remember that there is no First Sunday in Ordinary Time, as that Sunday is ordinarily taken up by the Baptism of the Lord (although this year, it was moved to Monday, as we celebrated the Epiphany last Sunday). This weekend, before we begin our journey through the Gospel of Mark for this year’s lectionary cycle (Year B), we look at John’s Gospel to read what happens after the Lord’s Baptism. Of course, we save the Temptation in the Desert (which is immediately after) until Lent. So, in Years A & B of this Sunday, we read John the Baptist’s testimony about our Lord after He returns from the desert and the corresponding response of the first disciples. This response of the disciples seems to anticipate Our Lady’s command at the Wedding Feast, which will be the very next story. Finally, in Year C, we read the Wedding Feast itself (which is really a kind of climax to this whole story of the dawning of Our Lord’s ministry). For more on the connection between these first two chapters of John’s Gospel, I recommend going on Formed.org and watching “The Bible and the Virgin Mary, Lesson 3: Wedding at Cana, Garden in Eden.” So, consider that set of three consecutive Sundays (or Feasts): Epiphany (focused on the Adoration of the Magi), Baptism of the Lord, and the Wedding Feast at Cana (or the story that leads up to it). What do they have in common? They are the three events in the Gospel, which the Church has tradition-
ally referred to as epiphanies. So, this Sunday, it is important to keep in our minds and hearts the way in which Our Lord’s first public miracle is meant to call us all to that trusting readiness to do the Lord’s will, which Our Lady both commands and models. Thus, we ought to recall that we are already anticipating that moment when Christ “revealed His glory, and His disciples began to believe in Him.” We are to have the courage of the apostles and Mary to choose to follow Him and to seek His will: “Do whatever He tells you.”
GRATITUDE AND RESPECT: I want to offer another word of thanks to everyone who participated in any way in last weekend’s Epiphany Celebration. In addition to the groups I thanked last week, I want to send a very special thank you to our Knights of Columbus, who came in a number of times over the last few months to help move furniture and various things to help us arrive at our current arrangement. I hope you noticed that we gave them a more visible presence, just outside of Harkrader Hall, in a display case, which contains just a few of the awards they have earned, which show that our Knights of Columbus are far more than a social club, but do a lot of good work to serve the poor and to support the mission of the Church. For more information about the Knights, including how new men can join, please contact Grand Knight Jim Whitmore at 815-878-1969.
ONGOING FEEDBACK: Also, I was delighted to hear so many very positive responses from parishioners after last weekend’s open house receptions and blessing! The occasion seems like a fitting time, also, for me to reiterate my standing invitation to all of our parishioners and friends to come speak with me about any questions, comments, or concerns you might like to discuss about the direction of our parish. Many exciting things are happening, as the Lord continues to unveil His plans for us. It is a helpful part of the discernment of that direction to hear different perspectives from parishioners. So, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with me.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!