Looks like 2016 is off to a sad and gloomy start with the passing of David Bowie, musician and artist, Alan Rickman, acclaimed actor from the Harry Potter films and Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil and her brother, Daniel Dion all passed away from the most dreaded and common illness which is cancer.
It is a sad thought and reality that illness spares no one, be one young or old,rich or poor, regardless of social status which makes it harder to accept when someone close to you is suffering and you are unable to make the person better. I pray that their families stay strong together in this difficult time and that God in his mercy and compassion comfort them in their time of grief and sorrow.
Since we all are unable to outrun the inevitable end, we should focus not on the physical or material aspect of life but on the spiritual aspect which is being at our spiritual best when we finally meet God at the end of the journey.
The gospel text tells us of the first miracle that Jesus made known to his family and his disciples and the people at the Wedding at Cana in Galilee. During the wedding, Jesus’ mother tells Jesus that the wedding had ran out of wine. Jesus told the servers,”Fill the jars with water.”So they filled them to the brim.Then he told them,”Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from- although the servers who had drawn the water knew-, the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,”Everyone serves the good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now”(John 2:1-11).
The phrase that struck me in this passage was not solely the miracle that Jesus worked but two things – Jesus could turn the water into wine which showed that Jesus could do the impossible and this is beyond our understanding. However, he showed us that in times of urgent need, he is always there and does not reject the pleas of his mother, Mary.
The Good Wine is the Blood we drink during the Eucharistic celebration. Jesus died for us to save us from our sins and he shed His Blood. Wine till today is seen as a blessing and gift as it is normally offered at special celebrations such as birthdays or weddings. Jesus still offers us love and mercy through miracles that we experience in our lives. Take some quiet time to reflect on the miracles that we have encountered in our lives and we will be amazed how God has truly blessed us so that sometimes we do not notice these blessings.
Similar to a wedding preparation, we need to prepare ourselves spiritually and be on our best in terms of faith when we meet God knowing that it is a joyous banquet that has been prepared for us when we meet him again!
As we go about the week being grateful for God’s blessings, may we also lift up in prayers those who are sick and suffering that they will have the courage to fight their illness, and may Jesus grant these families patience and understanding in caring for their loved ones. Amen. God Bless!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong