Curated preaching illustrations and anecdotes from Fr. Tony Kadavil. NEW! Now with videos; Also includes Fr. Tony’s commentary, and Children illustrations/object sermons.
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
LOVE AMONG THE RUINS – 1975 (2:30) – The film earned six Emmys. George Cukor, the director, Katharine Hepburn, and Sir Laurence Olivier all won Emmy awards. Music by the brilliant John Barry. This is one of the greatest films tv or theatrical ever made.
The Best is Yet to Come
The conventional wisdom is that every homily should begin with a story to capture the congregation’s attention and to introduce the theme. Here is one example. Visit Fr. Tony’s website for a whole lot more.
In a drama written for television entitled Love Among the Ruins, Lawrence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn star as two old friends who were childhood sweethearts forty years ago. Still a single man, Lawrence Olivier is now a prominent lawyer near the age of retirement. Katharine Hepburn is now a widow who comes by chance to Olivier’s office for some legal help. Their old romance flares up again, and this time Olivier gets enough courage to ask Hepburn to marry him. To convince her to say ‘yes’ he quotes these verses from Robert Browning’s poetry: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be. The last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hands.”
This television drama about love and marriage, and about “the best is yet to be,” throws some light on today’s Gospel story about the wedding feast at Cana. In his book, John: The Different Gospel, Fr. Michael Taylor points out that, unlike the other evangelists, John calls Jesus’ works of wonder signs instead of miracles. John does this because these miracles reveal in a visible way the inner spiritual identity of Jesus. Further, the other symbol in the Cana story, The Old Testament, symbolized by the water, is not being cast aside; it is being transformed by Jesus into something better –- the new wine of the New Testament. Indeed, this hour that has finally come is the best that is to be in human history because it is characterized by the abundance and excellence of God’s glory being revealed in Jesus (Albert Cylwicki in His Word Resounds).
Central Theme of the Readings
This week we are at a wedding in Cana where Jesus reveals Divine power by transforming water into wine. The Bible begins with one wedding, that of Adam and Eve in the garden (Gn 2:23-24), and ends with another, the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rv 19:9, 21:9, 22:17). At Cana, Jesus also blesses human marriage, perhaps at that moment instituting the Sacrament of Matrimony. Throughout the Bible, marriage is the symbol of the Covenant relationship between God and His chosen people. God is the faithful Bridegroom and humanity is His beloved bride. Let us pray for God’s daily miracles in our families.
Scripture Readings Summarized
We see this theme beautifully presented in today’s first reading, where Isaiah uses the metaphor of spousal love to describe God’s love for Israel. God’s fidelity to his people is compared to a husband’s fidelity to his wife.Isaiah predicts God’s salvation of Jerusalem after the return of the Babylonian exiles and visualizes it as a wedding between God and Jerusalem. Jesus’ provision of abundant wine for the wedding feast in Cana signifies that the day foreseen by Isaiah has arrived. Anticipating the joy of this wedding, the Psalmist urges us in the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 96),” Sing to the Lord a new song.”
In today’s second reading, St. Paul reminds us that the new wine that Jesus pours out for us is the gift of the Holy Spirit, given to His Bride.
In today’s Gospel, John describes the first of the seven “signs’ by which Jesus showed forth His Divinity. When the wine “ran short,” Jesus’ Mother told Jesus about it. At first Jesus seemed to refuse to do anything about it. But later he told the servants to fill six large stone jars with water and take some of the miraculous water-made-wine to the headwaiter. When they did so, the headwaiter expressed his surprise that such a great wine had been reserved for late use.
Choose AS MANY AS TIME ALLOWS
1) Invite Jesus and Mary to remain with us in our homes
The spouses need Jesus and Mary when their dreams are gone, mutual love seems dried up, the relationship becomes boring, and raising the children becomes a burden draining all their energy. The awareness of the presence of Jesus and Mary in the family will encourage parents to create an atmosphere of prayer, Bible-reading, mutual love, and respect, with a spirit of forgiveness and sacrificial service at home. This change will refresh and renovate family life, removing its boredom.
2) “Do whatever He tells you.“
This is the only recorded command given by Mary in the New Testament, and it is a prerequisite for miracles in our families. The Bible tells us how to do the will of God and effect salvific changes in our daily lives. 3) Just as Jesus filled the empty water jars with wine, let us fill the empty hearts around us with love. By the miracle of Cana, Jesus challenges us also to enrich the empty lives of those around us with the new wine of love, mercy, concern, and care. 4) Let us learn to appreciate the miracles of God’s providence in our lives. God, often as an uninvited guest in our families, works daily miracles in our lives by protecting us from physical and moral dangers, providing for our needs, inspiring us, and strengthening us with His Holy Spirit. Let us also appre, where God transforms our offering of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.
End of homily
Jokes of the Week
At the end of Mass, some priests like to offer a joke to their parishioners. Please be sensitive though to particular circumstances or concerns. Some Jokes may not be suitable for particular times, placeS, OR CONGREGATIONS.
1) “Then why did you marry my mother?” Little Tommy was so impressed by his oldest sister’s wedding that he announced. “I want to have a wedding just like Linda had.” “That sounds great,” said his father. “But whom will you marry?” Tommy announced: “I want to marry grandma because she loves me and I love her.” “You can’t marry grandma,” his father said. “Why not?” Tommy protested. “Because she is my mother.” ”Well,” reasoned Tommy. “Then why did you marry my mother?”
2) Whisky: A Congressman was once asked about his attitude toward whiskey. “If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I’m against it. But, if you mean the elixir of Christmas cheer, the shield against
winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I’m for it. This is my position, and I will not compromise.”
3) The same service? A man who had been a husband for ten years was consulting a marriage counselor. “When I was first married, I was very happy. When I came home from a hard day at the shop, my little dog would race around barking and my wife would bring me my slippers with a heart-warming smile. Now after all these years everything is changed. Now when I come home, my dog brings me my slippers and my wife barks at me.” “I don’t know what you are complaining about,” said the counselor. “You are still getting the same service.”
4) Countdown! One woman asked the other, “You were always my first marriage was to a millionaire; my second marriage was to an actor; my third marriage was to a preacher; and now I’m married to an undertaker.” Asked the friend, “What do those marriages have to do with a well-planned life?” “The first marriage was for the money, the second for the show, the third to get ready and the fourth to go!”
Fr. Tony started his homily ministry (Scriptural Homilies) in 2003 while he was the chaplain at Sacred Heart residence, applying his scientific methodology to the homily ministry. By word of mouth, it spread to hundreds of priests and Deacons, finally reaching Vatican Radio website (http://www.vaticannews.va/en/church.html). Fr. Tony’s homilies reach nearly 3000 priests and Deacons by direct email every week.
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