Miracles & Life: A homily for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

fixedw_large_4xTwo things I have on my mind today – miracles and life.

Miracles.  We hear John’s account of the first miracle of Jesus in our Gospel today, the wedding feast at Cana.  It shouldn’t surprise us Catholics that the Blessed Mother is interceding in the first of Jesus’ miracles. Jesus works the miracle, but Mary intercedes to get it done…as she does every miracle. What a blessing!

You know, wouldn’t you expect Jesus’ first miracle to be something grandiose, something huge?  Like the immediate construction of a cathedral, or the healing of a multitude of people, or something like that?  Yet what is it?  It’s something as simple and ordinary as making some wine at a wedding. An everyday type of event, a simple need – and there is Jesus with his first miracle.

That’s how it is with us now.  Jesus works miracles in the midst of our ordinary, daily lives. As you know I just got back from Disney World a few days ago after running a marathon there. I kind of fell in love with the Disney idea there, the Disney dream.  It’s hard for us to imagine a world without Disney…the movies, the places, the characters. All of it came about…because a man named Disney wanted to awaken the dreamer in people, especailly kids….to remind them, to teach them that miracles, magic is possible.

YOU can be the miracle in someone’s life!  You can set off a dream in someone!!!!!  Think about those who have done this for you.  Now it’s your turn!  Magic, miracles…they are made of the stuff of ordinary life….and we get to be agents of them.!

Second, life.  I got back from Disney World just in time to spend a couple days here and then head off to DC with our youth. A great time.  We went because of the March for Life, of course….an annual event that takes place around the anniversary of Roe v Wade each year.  Roe was a woman named Norma McCloskey, and she found herself pregnant at 21. She sued the state of Texas since she couldn’t get an abortion.  Henry Wade was the DA.  The case went to the Supreme Court and the rest is history.

Now Roe (Norma) regrets deeply her ever having done what she did. She goes around speaking about how abortion ruined her life, how bad she feels for what’s happened in our country since her case prevailed.  She speaks the Gospel of Life.  So does the niece of MLK, Jr, whose day is tomorrow….Alevda King, she wrote a book about her Uncle Martin’s legacy of justice, peace, and life.  It’s titled:  How Can the Dream Survive if We Murder Our Children?

Abortion is THE civil rights issue our day.  An entire class of people — the unborn — are denied their humanity, and our laws say it’s okay.  Roe v Wade said no state can make a law to prohibit abortions during the first two trimesters of a pregnancy. That’s 24 weeks.  Yet the heart starts beating after 4 weeks.  From the moment of conception, there is a living creature in there–toes, fingers, heart, membranes of all kinds….and A SOUL…a PERSON in whom, as our first reading notes, God delights.

Yet our country says it’s okay to kill them.

Not long ago we said it wasn’t a problem to have slaves. The Supreme Court ruled to uphold slavery.  Not long ago was the Holocaust, but…the Jews weren’t people, right?  Not long ago women had no rights, but it was okay….they weren’t full people, right?

Every time there’s been a class of people denied their humanity, it’s turned out to be bogus.  We pray the same will happen for abortion.  We pray that years down the road, we’ll look back as we look back on the Holocaust, upon slavery, and we’ll say:  HOW WAS THAT EVER SEEN AS OK?  HOW DID I VOTE FOR THAT?  HOW DID I NOT FIGHT AGAINST THAT??

A few months ago, a bunch of politicians in New York said it would be a good idea to ban plastic straws. Yet, that same state’s governor says abortion should be available WITHOUT restrictions for the entirety of a pregnancy….yank that kid out at 34 weeks, no problem. That gives you a glimpse of just how screwed up we are as a country.

Abortion is not preventing a life.  It’s exterminating a life that is there.  That is our belief. And science and medicine back it up folks, as does logic. Those babies, those beautiful unborn babies–they have fingers and toes and hearts and hairs and arms….but they don’t have voices.  We must be their voices.  We as a Church must speak out. As Isaiah says in our first reading: “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet…”  We must speak out for life, we must defend it, we must cherish it and help others do so, we must work and pray and vote to end a law that says it’s perfectly OK to yank out a life, piece by piece, body part by body part, and throw it into a jar to be disposed of.

Those are my two thoughts:  MIRACLES AND LIFE.  And they go together!