The Purpose of God’s Purpose

January 16, 2022

At the wedding feast we are invited into a snapshot of the exchange between Jesus and His mother, Mary.  She comes with a mission for Him.  They need wine and she does not want the couple to suffer embarrassment.  He does not see it as an immediate concern of His.  But she intervenes.  She tells the servants to do what He says.  We know the story.  Yet the vessels that contain the miracle offer us an insight into the movement of God.  These were vessels for ceremonial washing.  They had a purpose.   They were necessary and needed for a ritual of washing.  Jesus repurposes them, uses them for something completely different.  The wine comes from jars that are no longer being used for what they were supposed to be used for.  This repurposing is crucial for the miracle.  The wine did not just sprout from springs in the sky, rather it was found in vessels used for something new.  The old purpose has given way to a new purpose.  They were to become the vessels that carried a miracle, they were vessels that helped others believe, they were vessels that kept the couple and their families from embarrassment, they were vessels that carried the obedience Jesus showed in response to His mother Mary.

God is always inviting us to His purpose.  He is inviting us to repurpose our life to see new needs, to respond to new situations by faith, to carry new burdens and new light.  The word conversion is about growth in which our lives are repurposed to become something new.  The old is to be left behind, while the new is to be embraced.  When we stop allowing God to repurpose our lives, we stop the potential of becoming a vessel of grace in a new moment, in a new world.   Faith formation at its core is to open us up to the constant call of God to make us new.  Every time we receive the Eucharist Jesus offers us a chance to receive His very presence and also receive renewed strength to become new from the experience.  God makes His dwelling with us, not just once, but constantly.  We are to be changed.  We are to move away from just the comfortable places in our spirituality.  The repurposing comes when we are open to the next step being always the next step.  It is amazing to think that God chooses us to be repurposed each day for His purpose.   I was deeply moved this year by the many Christmas cards and greetings that came to me in various ways.  The connection to so many, coming from so many places and parishes were very emotional, especially at this time when gatherings just can’t happen in the way we want them to occur.  To see pictures of growth and to read notes that sparked great memories was a reminder of what was and how powerful those moments were.  Yet, the connection does not end there.  God has a new purpose, a new insight, a new possibility for us to become vessels of grace by looking forward.

God longs to bring about growth and conversion in our lives; we are the ones that must commit to becoming vessels who wait to be repurposed for His purpose.

Fr. John