Preacher’s Sketchbook: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 16, 2013

Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s Preaching Advisory Board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.


Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

This faith which is given by the Spirit as a grace is not just doctrinal faith but a faith which empowers activities surpassing human nature, a faith which moves mountains…. The faith present in one’s soul achieves the greatest things by the most summary decision. For such a one places the thought of God before his mind and, as enlightenment of faith permits it, beholds God. His mind also ranges through the world from end to end, and with the end of this age not yet come, beholds the judgment already, and the bestowal of the promised rewards.

St. Bede the Venerable

At Cana the wine was made to fail to give our Lord the opportunity of making even better wine so that the glory of God in man might be brought out of its hiding place.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

[John] shows the divinity of Christ in relation to the power he had over nature…. Christ’s power over nature is pointed out to us by the fact that he changed a nature. And this change was accomplished by Christ as a sign: first, to his disciples, to strengthen them; secondly, to the people, to lead them to believe…. Christ is present as the true groom of the soul…. Christ converted the water of fear into the wine of charity when he gave “the spirit of adoption as sons, by which we cry: ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom 8:15), and when “the charity of God was poured out into our hearts,” as Romans (5:5) says…. Wishing to make what he did more believable, Christ made wine from water, thus condescending to man’s capacity.

Pope Benedict XVI

What matters to the Evangelist [John] is precisely the symbolic time reference, which he gives us as a key to understanding the event. In the Old Testament, the third day is the time for theophany…. What we have here is a prefiguring of history’s final and decisive theophany: the Resurrection of Christ…when the earth is torn open once and for all and drawn into God’s own life…. We thus begin to understand the event of Cana. The sign of God is overflowing generosity…. This abundant giving is his “glory.” The superabundance of Cana is therefore a sign that God’s feast with humanity, his self-giving for men, has begun.

Blessed John Paul II

The role Mary assumed at Cana in some way accompanies Christ throughout his ministry.

Servant of God Luigi Giussani

Only the divine itself can adequately help the man who recognizes his existential impotence…. The human “”’ is thirsty for this God. Without this thirst everything would be opaque, obscure, an indigestible nothingness…. The “I” is thirsting for eternity…. What does “incarnate” mean?  It means to assume that [destiny, fate, the ultimate something, mystery, ‘God’] became a phenomenon, a regular fact that could act upon and be registered in the trajectory of history…. The wedding at Cana…indicates most clearly of all Jesus’ conception of life. Any aspect of existence, even the most banal, is worthy of a relationship with him and, therefore, of his intervention…. [The Unknown] speaks through apparently fortuitous circumstances, the banal conditions that determine the human being’s every instant.



Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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