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The Christmas liturgical season finished last Sunday with the Baptism of our Lord. We have now moved into ordinary time, which doesn’t mean that it is not extraordinary, but rather that is ordered, that is to say numbered, in ordered to allow us to organize Sunday readings during the course of the year.

However, in this liturgical year C, we hear again the message of Christmas, like an echo telling us how Jesus changes water into wine during the wedding in Cana. It is interesting to note that when the early church first began to celebrate the incarnation of the Son, the church fathers wanted to give prominence to this and consequently they chose three particular events, namely: the worship of the Magi (in which the nations of the world recognize the coming of the Son; His baptism (where the voice of God qualifies Him as “His beloved Son” and the wedding at Cana (where we hear that the disciples believed in Him for the first time).

We can all bring to mind important events from our own lives. Events which touched us deeply and those close to us. Passing an exam, getting a promotion, choosing a particular career, an encounter which changed us profoundly and perhaps our wedding day. The fact that Jesus picked such a day to begin his public life is not devoid of meaning. The prophets had already understood that human marriage is a weighty symbol of the covenant between God and His people. They had imagined that God would ultimately invite His people to an immense wedding banquet, where wine would flow freely. When the disciples understood that Jesus had brought some 600 liters of wine to the feast, they quickly made the link. Such extravagant behaviour could only come from divine generosity. The Messianic time had come and Jesus was the Christ, the anointed one, they had long awaited!

These extraordinary events we have mentioned: the worship of the Magi; the baptism of Jesus and the wedding at Cana; all occurred during “ordinary time”. Our own ordinary, humdrum lives also contain such extraordinary and significant events, even during the difficult times we are going through right now. As did Mary, we notice first what is missing, what we lack. But, as She did, we can transform this experience into a resolution to follow Jesus even more closely. “Do whatever He tells you”. This is Mary’s example to us. During the hard times, let us turn towards Her Son. Let us seek out His will for our lives and in so doing we will discover a reliable and overflowing source of joy!

May this Christmas echo in this ordinary time be for us a call to believe!

Archbishop Paul-André Durocher

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