DEEP EXPERIENCE AT DEEP BAY

2nd Sunday 01/12/04 John 2:1-12

 

 

DEEP BAY On the first Sunday of April, the Fong family always goes with grandpa to Deep Bay. They have a fish dinner. They play on the beach and collect seashells. They have a good day and they go home.

 

When Lai Man was sixteen, he asks his mother. Why do we always go to Deep Bay on the first Sunday of April? She answers: I dont know. But that is what grandpa wants. While you are playing he likes to sit there. Sometimes he looks sad and sometimes he looks happy.

 

When he was eighteen Lai Man asks his grandpa: Why do we go to Deep Water on the first Sunday of April.

 

Grandpa answered: Because that was the day in 1962 that I arrived in Hong Kong. I was in love with a girl from our village. I told my parents I wanted to go to Hong Kong. Mei Ying and I knew it would be risky because of the distance and the shark-infested waters. My parents gave me a little money. We got an inner tube. We swan for many hours. But Mei Ying was slowly weakening. I tried to swim for both of us. I, too, was weakening. And then I realized that Mei Ying was no longer clinging to the inner tube. She knew I couldnt continue swimming for both of us. I arrived in Hong Kong on that first Sunday of April.

 

He continued: Sometimes my life has been difficult and I have faced many difficult decisions. Sometimes I want to give up. But when I come to this place, I gather new energy. I see things in a new perspective. I think of the sacrifice that Mei Ying made so that I could be free. I will not let her down by giving up.

 

ANALYSIS: This example helps us to understand how we might approach Johns gospel.

 

1.     Lai Man has a pleasant outing with his family.

 

2.     Lai Man discovers the deep significance behind their visit to Deep Bay. That piece of land in Deep Bay has deep symbolic meaning for grandpa.

 

3.     Finally, we hope that Lai Man, when he faces crises, difficulties, grief, he will think of those outings with grandpa to Deep Water and be strengthened.

 

GODS POINT OF VIEW On the surface, Johns gospel is about the wedding of two poor newly-weds and how Jesus, the Son of God, helped them. Certainly these simple facts can give us a lot about which to pray.

 

But for sixty years St. John has been meditating on this scene. He has uncovered a treasury of meaning behind these facts. John wants us to appreciate why did Jesus choose this joyful little wedding to begin the work of salvation.

 

So John fills this little passage with clues. First clue: Jesus addresses Mary, not as mother, but as woman. Woman why turn to me? My hour has not come yet. Do you remember what Adam said after he was tempted by Eve to commit the first sin? The woman whom you put here with meshe gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it. (Gen. 3:12) But now, the woman, Mary, is the new Eve who tempts Jesus to begin the work of salvation. Mary is a loving and powerful woman then and now. That is one of the theological reasons why we, Catholics of Our Lady of Fatima have such devotion to Mary.

 

Second clue: At the end of this passage, St. John says: This was the first of the signs given by Jesus...he let his glory be seen. (John will divide his gospel into seven such signs.) John shows us that this was not only a miracle, it was a sign by which the Christian recognizes through faith and in the life of the Church the presence of the same Christ who was visibly present to the first disciples in the flesh.

 

Third clue: St. John tells us that it was a jolly wedding feast: happy day with plenty of wine. Yes, a wedding was the best day of all for Jesus to do the first of the signs and let his glory be seen and begin his work of salvation.

St. John remembers that throughout the Bible, God is very romantic. God is always speaking of an intimate married relationship with his people Israel. Israel will be the bride and God will be the moonstruck bridegroom.

 

There are other beautiful symbols and meanings in this gospel passageenough to provide hours of prayer. Unfortunately, most Catholics are unlike Lai Man, they never discover the deep meanings and rich nourishment that these gospel events offer us. I hope I have whetted your appetite and you are hungry for the Word of God.

 

RESPONSE

 

1.     During the week, read over and over this Sundays gospel. Read this passage aloud if possible.

2.     If you have trouble getting started, one of the catechists or priests can recommend can help you bible commentary from our parish library.

3.     Join a bible study/prayer group.

4.     Talk about this passage with a Catholic friend.

 

FINALE Catholics of St. Patricks community are you hungry for the Word of God?

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HOMILETIC NOTES AND STUFF

12 January 2004 2nd Sunday 01/12/04 John 2: 1-12

ONE WORD: Layers

 

THEME: Scripture comprises layers of nourishment for the Christian.

 

PURPOSE: To whet the appetite of Catholics to a deeper appreciation of Scripture.

 

TEXT: There was a wedding

 

SCRIPTURE: The woman whom you put here with meshe gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it. (Gen. 3:12)

 

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: But above all its the Gospels that occupy my mind when Im at prayer; my poor soul has so many needs, and yet this the one thing needful. Im always finding fresh lights there, hidden and enthralling meanings. #127 (Quoting St. Therese of Lisieux, ms. Autob. A 83v.)

 

TIDBITS For John a miracle is a sign by which the Christian recognizes through faith and in the life of the Church the presence of the same Christ who was visibly present to the first disciples in the flesh. (Jerome Commentary #62, p. 428.)

CHEWING THE WORD OF GOD

18 January 2004 2nd Sunday 01/12/04 John 2: 1-12

1.      Which of the four gospels is deepest in meaning? _______

2.      What word does St. John use in place of miracles? _______

3.       Name some way that you could increase your hunger for the word of God. _________________________

4.     This gospel passage shows Mary to be the new ____ who invites Jesus to begin the work of salvation. Pray with this gospel passage for five minutes. Write something that you thought about? ________________