THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Her Doctrine and Morals

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

20 January 2019

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Dear Friends,

Jesus has blessed the wedding feast with His Presence as well as with His first miracle. After the creation of the world, God placed Adam and then Eve in the Garden of Paradise with the commission to reproduce and fill the earth. In today's Gospel, we see that this is still the Will of God by the presence of Jesus at the wedding feast. As in the beginning, God blessed and promoted the union of one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation, so at the time of Jesus, He, likewise, promotes the matrimonial union and its fruitfulness in begetting children. This first commission given to men continues in our own day and until the end of time. It is the Will of God that married couples bring forth children for the Kingdom of Heaven. The pleasures given to them in the act of physical reproduction is a sacred gift reserved for those who in holy marriage cooperate with God's holy Will. Those who seek out and obtain this physical pleasure outside of holy matrimony or in a manner rejecting the natural course of reproduction, are thieves — taking or stealing that which does not belong to them.

Jesus took water and turned it into wine. That which is ordinary and common, He transforms into that which is extraordinary and uncommon — it is something that refreshes and fills us with joy. When God's gifts are abused they do just the opposite and fill us with misery and pain. In the sacrament of matrimony, God gives His grace to the married couple to fill their lives with extraordinary joy and satisfaction. He takes the ordinary flesh of husband and wife and miraculously transforms them into the sacred life-giving source of souls for Heaven. There is in matrimonial reproduction great joy and pleasure that is of the finest quality — just as the wine that Jesus made from water was of the finest quality.

We first see the water then we see the wine. In holy marriage, we first see the body, then we see the soul. We bring forth flesh and God gives an immortal soul to that flesh in a child made in His Image and Likeness. It is not enough to bring forth this child — he must be cared for and nurtured in both body and soul. For this reason, good parents see to the development of the souls of their children. We see the child brought forth to the waters of Holy Baptism where the soul is given even more graces in the spiritual life. The finest wine is taken care of, lest a single drop be spilled or wasted. It is preferably given to those who are sober rather than those who are inebriated because it cannot be truly appreciated by those who are intoxicated. We should understand that the blessing of children is best received and appreciated by those who are sober in the holy sacrament of marriage as opposed to those who are inebriated in the lusts of the flesh.

Throughout the Gospels, we see that Jesus takes the ordinary and elevates it to the sacred and the divine. We see it first in the transforming of water into wine. Next, in the elevation of the natural, material union of man and wife to the state of sacred matrimony. Ultimately, we see that Jesus changes wheaten bread and water and wine into His Body and Blood. All things that are material are spiritually elevated and given a greater or better life. Water becomes wine. Wine becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus. Procreative union of man and woman, become holy matrimony. The child of the flesh becomes a child of God.

Finally, we are called upon to allow Jesus to enter into our lives and transform them so that the Kingdom of God lives within us. This is not to the destruction or defilement of our material bodies, but rather to their transformation and divination where we become truly one with Jesus Christ. Where we can say with St. Paul, It is not I, but Jesus Christ living within me.

This is the greater marriage that all are called to enter into, as brides of Christ Jesus. Not only are we material bodies made by God in His Image and Likeness, but we are sanctified bodies drawn to ever greater union with Jesus. We are living Temples of the Holy Ghost. The apostles were called to this wedding feast, but they were not called to a physical marriage, they were called to an even greater marriage of their souls with Jesus. Jesus taught them and us that the physical marriage is good but there is a greater spiritual marriage with Him.

God calls us to different material vocations in this life and they are all good and are sanctified through the sacraments that He has given to the Church. The physical material life is good yet, the spiritual life of the soul is greater. Whatever vocation God has called us to, let us cooperate with Him as His bride and let Him live in us and through us. In this way, we may all taste the best of the spiritual wine, made from the most ordinary material water.

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