Jesuit Catholic University
in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students
January 20th, 2013
Bio | Email: Damian Olsen@creighton.edu
On this second Sunday in ordinary time the readings carry a theme of proclaiming the word of God and following his ways. Just a few weeks out from the glorious Christmas celebration and the flames of the advent wreaths have long been burnt out. The readings this Sunday remind us to rejoice always in the Lord and to keep the contagious flame of faith burning in our hearts. We are given a beautiful reading from Isaiah for our first reading. For Jerusalem and Zion’s sake, Isaiah says, he shall not be silent and his joy and praise just overflow as the reading goes on. There is such a beautiful analogy to marriage as the reading closes and it reminds us how truly connected and in love God is with us and his church. The responsorial psalm continues this theme of praise and thanksgiving to God, calling us again to reach out and ‘proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.’
It has always amazed me when I reflect on the words in the eucharistic prayers of the mass as when the priest says something like ‘our desire to praise and thank you is itself your gift.’ It is just unfathomable how much God loves us and how selflessly he has given himself to us for our happiness. The second reading from first Corinthians reminds me of this great truth. He has given us all unique and powerful gifts with which to praise him and each of these individual blessings through the Holy Spirit are themselves a gift from God. Just as Isaiah from our first reading was given the gift of prophecy to grow in his relationship with God and bring others to know God, so are we each given different blessings from God for the same purpose. It is just a continuous loop, we are given gifts from God to praise God so that we can more deeply and fully praise God and know God who wants to shower us with more and more gifts... and it just goes on and on like that. Many of you may have some of these great gifts of the Holy Spirit and it’s important to use them and remember that they are blessings from God to deepen our own faith and call others to him.
As she so often and perfectly does throughout her life, our mother Mary shows us the perfect example of how to follow Christ in our daily lives. It’s curious that the gospel writers didn’t include more of what Mary said in their writings, however today we receive a simple yet powerful single line from her. In the account of the wedding feast at Cana we hear proclaimed in our gospel today Mary says to one of the servers ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ So simple and yet so perfectly put. We are to do exactly and whatever it is that Christ tells us. While most of us aren’t hearing the words of Christ whispered into our ears during prayer, through our discernment and time with him in the sacrament of the Eucharist we receive his direction in our hearts.
So today let us follow in Mary’s perfect footsteps and do whatever it is that Christ desires of us and commands us to do. Let this be our prayer and praise to him. His direction and every desire is for us to be truly fulfilled and happy. The gifts we have been given help us to enter more fully into our relationship with him. So let us not be silent about what Isaiah says and share what we have been given with others to return it to him in praise. Our very faith in him is a gift and one that is designed to be shared. Let us pour out our lives for others as he did for us and in doing so give Christ his due praise.
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