Shining Out Like the Dawn – 2nd Sunday
There is a beautiful verse in the scripture from Isaiah in today’s Mass. “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.” In the chapter before that verse is the piece famously quoted by Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, at the initiation of his public ministry.
“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.”
The speaker (the prophet or God) will not keep silent or rest until vindication is experienced, until all is justified and made well. Presumably that means that there is no oppression, no broken hearts, and no one captive or a prisoner.
The words from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians are a reminder that vindication is not the sole responsibility of God. We all have gifts that can be used to bring about the mission that Jesus announced after emerging from the wilderness. Paul writes of a variety of gifts, services, and activities, “but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.”
Injustice and justice both have faces. Those faces surround us every time that we connect to the world around us – in newspapers, on television, on the internet, on social media, in our Facebook posts, in a family gathering, going to work or school, chatting with friends and colleagues about world events, the choices we make about films to watch or books to read, and so on. We need to have open and sensitive eyes. We need to have hearts that can discern what particular gifts we have that can be put to use to facilitate the vindication.
The Gospel is the account of the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. Water is changed into wine. Jesus’ miracle is offered at the service of a newly married couple. An important element of the story is Mary’s sensitivity to the situation. She is aware of a particular need and she alerts her son. It is worth noting that he refers to her as mother, a way of addressing her that he uses again, later in John’s Gospel when she is at the foot of the cross with John. “Woman, here is your son.”
This first miracle results in his disciples believing in him. It certainly resulted in others – the servants – knowing that there was something unusual about Jesus. We see here that Jesus’ recognition of his mission knows no bounds. He has certainly come to bring liberty and sight. But he also comes to invite us further into a celebration of the goodness of life. Jesus facilitates that celebration in this miracle. We are invited to share in that service.