Changing water into wine

Water into Wine by C Nick Arach Tuigsinn

Homily for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily

When I was on retreat last November,
there was a simple song sung at Mass every day
which became a kind of theme for my retreat week
and now a part of my daily prayer.

The lyrics for this little tune are very simple:
Take, O take me as I am. Summon out what I shall be.
Set your seal upon my heart and live in me.
It sounds like this…

(Listen to audio above for the musical portions of this homily)

This song comes to my mind with today’s gospel story
of Jesus’ first miracle:
changing water in to wine at the wedding at Cana.

Jesus took what they had, as it was, water, the simplest of substances:
nothing fancy; something very basic; H2O.
But he summoned out of the water
something fine, sweet, deep and rich.

He took something just as it was, set the seal of his power upon it
and brought forth from it more than anyone could have imagined.
This miracle, of course, is a revelation of who Jesus is: the Lord.
If he can change water into wine,
might he not change our hearts and change our lives?

I’ll think we’d all like to see Jesus change some water into wine
but the change we really need, the change we really need to see
is a change of heart, a change in our lives.

Jesus took the water at the wedding just as it was
and he takes us, you and me, just as we are.
He starts with the simple, the basic, the ordinary you and me.
And from us, just as we are, he “summons out” what we shall be,
what we are created to be, what he calls us to be.

The difference between the water in the jars and us
is that we can resist the change.

I can hold on to my old self, my unchanged self,
the self I’ve become comfortable and satisfied with,
the self I’ve learned to live with.

I can hold tight within myself
whatever it might be that the Lord wants to summon out,
whatever changes the Lord wants to make in me,
changes the Lord wants me to make.

Perhaps it’s like the story of the sculptor who was asked
how he could create such beautiful statues
out of a big block of marble.
He said that what he did was to study the marble,
envision the form within it and then just chip away
everything that wasn’t the statue.

Voila: A work of art!

The Lord is the sculptor of our lives.
He created the stuff of my existence, body and soul.
And sometimes I can be as dense and formless as a block of marble.
But the Lord is always working to chip away
all that isn’t the person he made me to be.

He takes me as I am, but summons out what I am called to be.
He wants to set his seal upon my heart,
as an artist might sign his work.

And the Lord wants to live in me and in you.

The Lord takes me as I am:
with all my assets and liabilities,
with all my talents and handicaps,
with all my accomplishments and my failures,
with all my strengths and weaknesses,
he takes me as I am with my sins and brokenness,
and with the help of his grace and mercy he sculpts,
he summons out, he calls forth
the person he created me, the person he created you, to be.

As we consider Jesus changing the water into wine,
we might ask ourselves just three questions:

First: do I trust that the Lord takes me as I am?

Second: do I believe that God’s not yet finished with me,
that God’s still sculpting me, whether I’m 8 or 80 years old?

Third: will I ask the Lord to summon out of me
the person he wants me to become?

Perhaps we might even right now think of ourselves as water
or a block of marble,
and pray to become, with God’s help and grace,
a work of art, a fine wine.
Will you pray with me?

(Listen to audio above for the musical portions of this homily)

We believe Jesus changed water into wine.
And we believe that in a few moments
he will take our gifts of bread wine, as they are,
and with the seal of the Holy Spirit upon them
he makes of them his sacrifice of praise,
the gift of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

Pray with me that what we receive at the altar today
will change our hearts and change our lives.

May Christ who sets his seal upon our hearts
summon out what we shall be and live in us.

Just one more time…

(Listen to audio above for the musical portions of this homily)


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  1. a "simple song"...

    beautiful, but, not so simple...

    at least for me.

  2. I have always believed that Jesus meets me right where I am. And that if I didn't have my addiction in my life I never would come to know Him.

    This site has become a very important part of my life.

    Thank You!


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