Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
January 16, 2022
When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
~ John 2:3
Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings to you as we resume Ordinary Time!
With the many challenges that daily life can offer, Jesus’ first miracle might seem insignificant, particularly when compared to occasions where Jesus healed the sick and even raised the dead. Why should the Lord be that concerned with wine running out at a wedding, and why would Mary choose this moment to ask a special favor of her Son?
Today, many grave situations exist, from destructive natural disasters to genocides and other human rights abuses. Terrorism and authoritarian regimes still disrupt sincere efforts for peace and understanding. The rise in violence is disturbing, including in Baltimore, where homicides once again exceeded 300 for the 7th straight year. As well as the atrocity of abortion, often promoted the guise of “family planning” or compassionate care for women’s health, continues to take root in our world and our nation as a fundamental “human right,” ignoring the dignity of the unborn child.
How do we help people see the evils of our world and commit to lasting justice? As we approach the annual March for Life on Friday, January 21, and the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn on Saturday, January 22, I encourage parishioners to place hope in God’s kingdom before each other. The Kingdom of God is possible – and worth investing all of our energy, talents, and time to achieve.
Let us pause in prayer this month that the will of God is embraced in our world and our community. In today’s Gospel, we should be encouraged that even a slight burden on an unnamed family is a concern for our Lord. Jesus cares. And to allow him to work his miracles, we merely need to listen to the last words of Mary in the Gospel, “Listen to him.”
There are some wonderful resources to deepen our appreciation of why so many March each year in Washington, DC in January (probably the worst weather-month to do so). Or why many volunteers commit their lives to pregnancy centers that help promote the one true choice — Life.
Suppose you struggle to accept this aspect of our Church’s teaching or cannot understand why so much breath is used to argue for Life. In that case, I encourage you to enter into prayer with the Lord and listen to some excellent resources freely accessible to parishioners on Formed.org. Listen to the journey of ex-abortionist Bernard Nathanson, an acclaimed pro-life activist, or follow the passionate defender of our Catholic faith, Stephanie Gray, as she speaks to a Students for Life conference on changing hearts and minds on abortion.
While the trends in society and the world may seem overwhelming, we are not alone. Many people of faith and goodwill are passionate about promoting the dignity of all Life. A new international pro-life flag (visit: www.prolifeflag.com) has been created with the hopes of unifying the efforts to protect unborn children and their mothers. The circle evokes the womb, the sphere where the child is kept safe and protected. Two baby feet represent the unborn child’s humanity, and two hands depict the mother, holding and protecting her child. The two stripes have multiple, intended meanings: forming an equal sign representing the equivalent value of Life; moreover, they represent the mother and father who have come together to create and raise the child.
Mother Mary, aid our efforts to protect and defend all Life, and send your Son to fill our world with an abundance of grace and Life!
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett