Our All Saints Blog

Being at Cana

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Today's gospel passage has had new meaning for me ever since I visited Cana in Galilee. I had the opportunity to see for myself a stone jar. The stone jars that the Lord uses to convert the water into wine are extremely heavy and enormous. They cannot be easily moved. The Jews considered stone purer than pottery; therefore, they were used for important sacred rituals such as Jewish ceremonial washings. That our Lord would use these jars makes perfect sense. That he would use them for a wedding at Cana makes even more sense.

Marriage is a natural institution. It is as natural to man as water is to the earth. It is a universal institution that has been respected at all times and everywhere. Marriage, like water, must be respected, protected and never to be taken for granted. It is a far too important institution that cannot be wasted or polluted.

The Lord and his disciples are invited to a wedding ceremony. We should not take this invitation lightly or superficially. If the Lord presents himself to a wedding, then it is for a reason. Marriage is important. He takes water and turns it into wine. As I said above, marriage is a natural institution. Now, the Lord takes this very natural institution (like water) and converts it into a sacred institution (like wine). He purifies marriage by filtering it. He tells his disciples that under no circumstances can a man divorce his wife.

It appears as though marriage, over the years, has been getting altered, polluted and misused by man. Sound familiar? Don't we do that too? Don't we take what is holy, sacred, and good and discard it?

The Lord visits his friends, his neighbors, his enemies and his people in their most intimate moments. He visits us in our sacred institutions, in our families and in our Church. Let us not throw out this admirable, honorable, and holy guest. Let us keep the Lord in our lives now and forever, for the Lord takes delight in his people!

Amen.

Posted by Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro with

A Star

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A Star. Most people consider the star in the infancy narratives to be a symbolic gesture; that is, the fruit of theological reflection.

Surprisingly enough, some early Church Fathers considered it to be so too. But later researchers have suggested otherwise. Based on numerous calculations, the famous astronomer Ferrari d'Occiheppo (1907-2007), concluded that around the year 7-6B.C., which is now thought likely to have been when Jesus was born, there was a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in the sign of Pisces. This conjunction would have appeared as a very bright star over night skies of Bethlehem

It's wonderful to see how faith and reason can be like two wings on a bird. They should never contradict one another. When they do, you have a disaster. Science without faith can easily turn deadly. Faith without reason can easily turn radical. However, together, they can help man soar!

Magi from the east. That is, Magi from the "land of sunrise". The Son of God rose from the dead. He rose from the depths of hell. He rose from the darkness of the night. Is the sun not an image of the Son? Does it not bring light to the world? Does the sun not break the spell of man's deep sleep?

Without the sun we could never think. Yep.

After all, the sun allows photosynthesis to occur, which provides food for plants, which emits oxygen into the atmosphere, which allows man to breathe, which allows man to live, which allows man to think.

The Son of God brings light to our world. He converts a hunter into a searcher. He brings understanding to our lives. If everything I do is for a reason, then how can the Universe exist for no reason? Why can't the earth have life for a purpose, and not just a mathematical or mechanical reason? Why can't my life and death be for a reason other than a biological reality? Just like the sun serves so many purposes, why can't the Son of Man serve multiple purposes as well? Like the sun, The Son of God can bring warmth, light and life to earth, if it is not manipulated by others for evil purposes.

What is it that made the Magi from the East leave their homeland? What exactly where they in search of? A star and a king. As Pope Benedict XVI stated in his reflection on the infancy narratives "There is a saying attributed in the Bible to the pagan prophet Balaam.

Balaam was a historical figure, for whom there is extra-biblical confirmation...The Bible presents him as a soothsayer in the service of the king of Moab, who asks him to curse Israel. Balaam intends to do so, but God himself intervenes, causing the prophet to proclaim a blessing upon Israel instead of a curse... All the more important, then, is a prophecy ascribed to him, a non-Jew and a worshipper of other gods, and it is a prophecy that was evidently known outside of Israel: "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob and a scepter (king) shall rise out of Israel."(Jesus of Nazareth Infancy Narratives. 91).

They were looking for was a king, a king that would bring them hope and salvation. They found Him, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a stable, in a manger. Not only did they find a king, but they also found humility and love - the stuff that all great kings are made of.

The wise man presented themselves to God. They offered gifts to Him. Let us do the same exact thing. Let us go in search of God. Let us bow down before Him. Let us present ourselves to Him. Let us offer our gifts, love, sacrifices, fears, rejections, temptations even our sins to God Almighty. Let us do what the wise men did. Let us give all these things freely and let the Lord do what He wills with them.

Wise men still search for Him. Wise men still follow Him. Wisemen still come to adore Him. Let's give to the King of Kings our greatest gift: our heart, mind, soul and body. Let's give to Him our lives.

Posted by Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro with

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