Keeping the Good Wine Until Now

January 20, 2019

In the midst of the fantastic miracle story in today’s Gospel, two questions arise that we might all want to look deeply into ourselves to answer.  Why do we keep things?  What are we waiting for?   I remember being the nature director at Boy Scout Camp in Elcho, Wisconsin.  As a part of my preparation, I was looking at what I needed to load onto the trucks so we would have ample supplies for the scouts as they worked on their merit badges.  I decided I needed some jars to capture and collect insects, so I asked my dad if I could have some of the clean tang jars with all the lids intact he was storing in two large boxes.  He answered “no’.  I asked him why he said no.  He said he was saving them for something.  I told him I needed them for camp and he still said no.  Then I went to my mom and asked her.  I got the jars.

So often in our minds we put a special tag on things.  Sometimes I do that with clothes.  I say to myself that I will wear a particular sweater for a special occasion, but there is never an occasion special enough, so I am left with a great sweater I have never worn.  We keep things close that we put value on and protect them.  What are we keeping?  Why?   The second question flows into this one.  What are we waiting for?   When does what we have need to be shared?  When does what we have to be used find the special enough moment to use it?  I can remember receiving some very expensive bottles of wine as a gift and thought I would save them to open for a celebratory occasion.  When I moved from St. Anthony’s in Frankfort to St. James in Glen Ellyn, I realized the wine had all gone bad.  What a waste of a gift.  Sometimes we wait too long to use, celebrate or share the gift.  This happens a lot with the gift of time and words.  How often have we said, “I wish I would have told them?”

At a time when we are looking at evangelization, at a time when we are invited to live our faith with integrity and vulnerability, we have to realize that what we have been given is for the here and now.  The miracle of the wedding feast took place at the proper moment at the proper time.  Now is the proper moment, now is the proper time!

God invites us to be participants in deepening the faith of others.  By what happened in Cana, the disciples began to believe more deeply.  By what we say and do, others will be able to believe more deeply.  What are we holding on to?  What are we waiting for?

Now is the time, now is the moment!

Reverend  John J. Ouper