2 nd Sunday of Ordinary Time : Gospel – Mt 2:1-12

" God will Provide for all our Needs "

Preached by Fr Philip Heng, SJ at Church of St Ignatius – Singapore
on 17 Jan 2010

The Wedding feast at Cana is a Gospel story that all of us are familiar with. Like the bridegroom, we often find ourselves in situations where we are in need of God’s help to rescue us and solve our problems that are beyond us. Humanly speaking, regardless of who we are in the secular world, we are mere finite creatures and we are not able to help ourselves beyond the best of what we can do, which is very little.

There is a true story of a blind man who is at present in his sixties. Let us call him Tom which is not his real name. Tom was very angry with life because of his blindness. He was so depressed and had lost all hopes and meaning in life that on many occasions he wanted to commit suicide. Not being able to help Tom much, his mother as a last resort urged him to go to Lourdes to pray to Our Lady for a miraculous healing.

Tom was not a Catholic. Finally, he reluctantly agreed to go and probably told himself that this was the last chance he was giving himself. At Lourdes, following the other pilgrims, Tom was lowered into the bath water at the grotto of our Lady, while he prayed for healing. When he came out of the water no miracle happened; Tom was still blind and he didn’t feel healed at all . . . being disappointed, he returned home.

Tom’s mother was very worried of her suicidal son, and prayed very hard to God and Our Lady to intercede for his son’s need. Days, weeks and months went by and surprisingly Tom in his quiet ways did not show signs that his depression was worsening. In fact, he looked more peaceful and his behaviour became more stable; he did not seem to be angry with life any more. While Tom was not healed physically, he was healed emotionally and interiorly.

Tom shared with my friend that, since going to Lourdes, he was surprised to find that he had an inner strength to go beyond his anger of being blind. He was able to accept his blindness more through the renewed energy that he felt within him. Gradually, this inner strength not only gave Tom peace, but urged him to live a life that is life-giving to others. Tom felt called to reach out to the many others who were going through the similar pains of life that he had especially those who were suicidal.

One of the greatest blessings of the Christian faith is our belief that our God is a God of miracles. This being our belief, we will never find ourselves in any situation where we are totally helpless, abandoned and alone when we are in need. Jesus always assured the crowds who when to Him with their needs. To some He would say, “Come to me all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest, my yolk is easy and my burden light . . .” To others, He would added, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seekand you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”

These words of consolation of Jesus are real and we all know that they are true. Thus, He, Jesus our Lord and Saviour, will always be there for us and will intervene and give us the best of what we need, provided we dare to surrender the outcome of what we desire to Him, when we have done our best to help ourselves. This I believe is what happened in the fund raising Bazaar of our Parish - we planned the logistics, and it was God who moved the hearts of our Parishioners in His time and ways to make it a success.

This in general is also I believe how we ought to run our parish! I believe if we do our best, the Lord will do the rest. The outcomeof how our parish will grow intois totally in God’s hands. We are all mere imperfect human instruments of God. Our roles are to fill the jars with water and then, like Our Lady ask Jesus to do what He thinks is best for all of us in the parish. None of us, except Jesus, can change the water into wine; we are mere human beings and we must be humble enough to know our limitations.

To affirm that only Our Lord, can turn around and transform human impossible situations, we have to dare to trust our Lord more fully. We have to dare to let go and not hold back God’s inspirations that are always stirring within our hearts. If Tom did not eventually let go of his limited trust in God, and chose to wallow in his depressed state and mourn about his blindness, then he would probably have committed suicide many yearsago. But, the fact that he was finally able bring himself to make the choice to allow God to work in his life, the Holy Spirit was then able to heal him and bring about his interior transformation.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, God performs miracles daily in our lives; it is He who is keeping us alive; it is His love that is giving us the real hope in our daily trials; it is His compassion that we have survived the countless near death or crises situations in our lives. In this Wedding at Cana and other Gospel stories, it is important that we not only get in touch with the deeper meaning of what God is trying to say to each of us today, but also to get in touch with God’s Spirit that is stirring within our hearts. It is not enough for us to listen passively to homilies after homilies, Sunday after Sunday. We are each called to seeks God eagerly in our daily lives and not wait passively for God to find us.

Do we have such eagerness in our hearts? If yes, we thank God for the gift and blessings of a lively faith that I am sure will constantly bring us much joy, fulfillment and happiness in our lives, in spite of the trials we may be experiencing.

But, if we are not too eager to search for God in our lives, then let us pray to Our Lady more fervently and ask her to help us to listen to her Son more faithfully. Every time and every one who goes to Our Lady and seek her intercession, would surely hear her say to us, as she did at the wedding at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Once we are able to do what Jesus tells us, we would have tasted the finest and thebest gift that God, Our Lord wants to give us in our life. As Jesus offered only the best of wine to the wedding guests, He will surely give us nothing, but the best; we have every thing to gain and nothing to loose,if our lives are centered on listening to what Jesus has to tell us.

I know, and you know that this is true. We don’t need to be convinced of this truth. . . we only need to put this into practice daily. . We could perhaps begin with a more meaningful prayer life of listening more attentively to the Holy Spirit’s promptings within our hearts in our daily life; urging us to go to God with our needs, allowing God to work the miracles of transforming us interiorly and fully in His ways and time.

Fr Philip Heng, S.J.

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