Today we celebrate the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our Gospel Reading is taken from John and is the account of the wedding feast at Cana. On this occasion, Jesus performs his first public miracle. When the wine runs short, and his mother, Mary, tells Jesus that they have no wine, it doesn’t appear that he is taking her request seriously. He responds in an interesting manner: “…how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” Mary has total faith in her Son because she tells those assembled to “do whatever he tells you.” We know the rest of the story. All of us have prayed and asked Jesus for something at one time or another in our lives. Sometimes we pray very hard for a special request, and we start to think that maybe God isn’t listening to us. Our prayers don’t seem to get answered. Like Mary, we need to have deep faith in Jesus – strong faith in God. When we pray, we need to be convinced that God is with us, watches over us, and answers prayers in His time. The outcome may not be what we expect, but in His time, God will help us understand and accept that He always has our best interest in mind. Sometimes we have only one option in mind when we pray, and God may have many others in mind as He responds to our prayer. God knows the “big picture” of our lives. He knows what will draw us closer to Him and what will strengthen our faith, even if we don’t know it at the time. This week, let us pray for openness to God’s ways in the manner in which he hears and answers our prayers. Then, like Mary, and those gathered at the wedding feast, we will be ready “to do whatever he tells you.”
This Saturday and Sunday we welcome Father Bill Rutkowski who will be the priest celebrant for our liturgies. Father Bill is the Vicar General of the Diocese of Saginaw and he is also Sacramental Minister at Saint John Vianney Parish where Sister Janet Pewoski is Pastoral Administrator. As I told you last Sunday, Father Bill is trading places with Father Jim so that Father Jim can do a teaching Mass (actually three of them this weekend) for the parishioners of Saint John Vianney. We are pleased to have Father Bill with us today. I know that you will extend a warm welcome to him.
A week from Monday (which is January 25), Bishop Cistone will be coming to Saint John Paul II Parish for Visitation. A Parish Visitation is not an unusual event; periodically, the vicars make a visit to each of the parishes in their vicariate. (Before Saint John Paul II Parish was formed in July, 2014, the last time our cluster parishes had a visit from a vicar was in 2006). Bishop Cistone decided last year to share the visitation process with all 6 of the present vicars. He divided up the 56 parishes amongst himself and all of them. Bishop Cistone is primarily visiting parishes that have merged. He will be spending a very full day with us, beginning at noon and ending at 8:00 PM. [Because we have three church sites, the bishop is allowing for more time than he might at other parishes]. Bishop Cistone will be meeting with me, the parish staff members, the bookkeeper and me together, and, later in the day, with the Pastoral and Finance Councils. He will be reviewing our budget and the six month report. He will take a look at all of our Sacramental record books beginning with the last time a vicar was here and signed them. He will also be looking at all of our buildings. At 7:00 PM Bishop will be celebrating an Evening Prayer Service (that he has put together) in Church. Finance and Pastoral Council members will be attending, and all parishioners who wish to gather for prayer that evening are invited. Following the Prayer, he will have an open meeting with parishioners. Bishop Cistone will be present and preside at 9:30 AM Mass on Sunday, January 31. Mass will be followed by coffee and donuts in the Meeting Room at the Education Center. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for prayer on Monday, January 25 and Mass on Sunday, January 31.
The next Holy Hour with Bishop Cistone is Tuesday, January 19 at 7:00 PM at the Saints Peter and Paul Church site of Saint Dominic Parish. During this Jubilee Year, we are invited to pray and gain a greater appreciation of God’s mercy.
The next few weeks will be very full. Please help out or as you are able. Sign-up sheets are on the bulletin boards in church.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ