Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Hour and the Glory

Sometimes the Liturgy can really be confusing. Like today. Here we are, well into the Christmas season (most people, it seems, have all their decorations neatly stored in color-coordinated boxes in their attics by now); the feast of Epiphany will be celebrated tomorrow, bringing the Nativity tableau to completion, and the Gospel of the day is...the wedding at Cana?!
And yet the wedding at Cana has long been connected with the Feast of the Epiphany in the mind of the Church. Gold, frankincense and myrrh? Those are the wedding gifts! If the Church seems to be amazinly preoccupied with issues related to marriage, this is because the whole Bible, the whole of Divine Revelation, is about the marriage of God and humanity. Jesus is that wedding of the two in one person (and so the connection of Cana with the season that celebrates the Incarnation), but we are all called to enter into this intimate communion with God. The Church is called both "body of Christ" and "bride of Christ," and heaven (and the Mass) the "wedding feast of the Lamb" for a reason.
Also connected with Epiphany is next week's feast of the Baptism of the Lord, when the heavens were torn open so that God's voice could be heard declaring Jesus his own beloved Son (revealing him to be the channel of communication between heaven and earth; the doorway into the Paradise that had been shut since that sad day in Eden).
All three events in Jesus' life were moments when, to use the words of today's Gospel, "he revealed his glory," and those present surrendered to him in faith.

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