So Many Gifts
(2nd Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-11)
We concluded last week’s reflection with these words: “Let us never forget or neglect the gift we received in our baptism.” Today’s readings will help us expand upon that theme.
In Isaiah 6, the prophet described his calling. God asked, “Whom shall I send?” and Isaiah volunteered: “Here I am, send me!” Today, in Isaiah 62, he says, “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet.” He was the voice of God among his people; ever attentive to God’s will, he proclaimed it faithfully.
Today’s Gospel tells the story of the Wedding at Cana. Because the focus is on a miracle, we do not usually think of this passage in the context of prophecy. And yet, Mary performs a prophetic role. Recognizing the will of God in the need of others, she is not silent. She speaks to Jesus. Then, in words that echo all the prophets, she tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Jesus then gives a prophetic sign.
At La Salette we see the same dynamic. Like the prophets, Mary pleads our cause before the Lord. To us she speaks through warnings—reminding us of what we must do—and promises—showing what we may hope for—to which she adds the persuasive power of tears.
Prophecy is not given to everyone. The second reading makes that eminently clear. Saint Paul mentions no less than seven other gifts of the Spirit. In fact, if we consider the history the Church, there are Religious Congregations whose vocation is... silence!
In the context of so many gifts, “I will not be silent” becomes, “I will not resist the movement of the Spirit.” Whatever our gift is, we must put it to use. Saint Paul writes, “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit,” that is, for others, first in the Christian community, but also beyond.
When we put our gifts at the service of others, we are also carrying out the command expressed in the Responsorial Psalm: “Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.”
Accepting God’s will means that the gift of faith received at baptism will find expression in other gifts. One such is our La Salette vocation.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.