This week we are back in what is rather blandly termed Ordinary Time! That is, the period between Christmastide and the start of Lent (6th March). The Gospel of this Sunday relates that most famous of parties: the Wedding at Cana. Actually, I always think that this wedding feast is a good analogy and symbol for what the Church is. God often tells us - especially in the Old Testament - that His Kingdom is one which is like a banquet of rich food and fine wines. If you think about the Catholic Faith, it is a religion that touches all of our senses; which is another reason why it must be the True Faith: because it is incarnational.
In today's feast we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus by John in the waters of the Jordan. Though He Himself had no stain to be washed away, He wished to submit Himself to this rite as He submitted Himself to the other requirements of the Law. As a human being He submitted Himself to the laws that ruled and governed the lives of the people of Israel who had been chosen by God to prepare the way for the Redeemer. By His baptism Jesus left for us the sacrament of Christian baptism, directly instituted by Christ. In baptism we receive faith and grace. The day we were baptised was the most important day of our lives. Before we received baptism we were outside the locked gates of Paradise, unable to produce even the smallest supernatural fruit.
The first Sunday of the New Year is the twelfth day of Christmas and celebrates the Epiphany: the moment that Christ is shown to the world when the Magi visit Bethlehem. This is a beautiful moment because after their long journey, the Wise Men are rewarded for their endurance and faith by seeing the salvation of the world. They let that star - a symbol of faith - lead them to the house where Mary shows Jesus to them and through them to the world. We can truly repeat with great faith on this Day: Venite adoremus…come let us adore Him!