Ordinary Time 02, Year C-2010
- While the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:17)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen.1:1). For God to create, however, it was simply a matter of him commanding that something come into being. For instance, “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen. 1:3; see Ps. 33:9; Wis. 9:1; Sir. 42:15). Hence, it is indeed right to say, as we read in Jn. 1:1-3 (see 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.”
“And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Thus something wholly new, something unheard of before, happened. If in the past God gave his commandments or laws—words, literally in Hebrew—through Moses and spoke to our forefathers through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son (see Heb. 1:1). “No one has ever seen God, but the only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him” (Jn. 1:18). God then has spoken to us in person and thus the Law and the Prophets, far from being abolished, attain their perfect fulfillment in its minutest demand and in a manner surpassing that of the Pharisees (see Mt. 5:17-20). The Word made flesh is the Immanuel of Isaiah’s prophecy (see Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:23).
Moreover, on account of the Word becoming one of us and living among us, divinity and humanity are now joined in a covenanted love relationship that cannot be retracted and dissolved despite our infidelity (see 2 Tim. 2:13). Hence, the covenant union of love between the Lord and Israel, envisioned in Hosea 2, is proclaimed to be at hand and realistically within reach (see also Is. 54:4-8). Applying to humanity now in a special, final and definitive way are the new names, “My delight” and “Espoused,” that, according to the prophet Isaiah in the first reading, the Lord’s mouth pronounced.
And since this is the wedding that truly matters, not only should the wine not fail. It must also be the best, and it must be served at this new type of wedding not as wine is traditionally served in other weddings. This new wine is no longer the water used for ritual cleansing purposes; it replaces rather these ritual washings that are part of “regulations concerning the flesh, imposed until the time of the new order” (see Heb. 9:10). This new wine signifies the blood of Christ (more effective than the blood of the animal sacrifices of the old order), “who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God” (Heb. 9:13-14).
This new wine, then, reveals Jesus’ glory but in terms of an order that is new precisely because it turns everything upside down so that the last is first, the nameless mother plays a prominent role, the one who loses his or her life finds it. After all, it is all a matter of grace—not merit, say, for being observant or loaded with works. It is matter, not of the letter that kills, but of the Spirit that gives life (see 2 Cor. 3:2-6), of the one God, as the second reading teaches, producing different kinds of gifts, different forms of service and different workings in everyone—be this simply a donation of a few dollars for the suffering people of Haiti.
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