The Epiphany Festival celebrates the Manifestation of Jesus, especially to the Wise Men, but also at the Marriage Feast of Cana and on the banks of the Jordan river. This January the liturgy considers two of these revelations and also the revelation at the synagogue in Nazareth. The Cana story is surely one of the most charming in all the bible. How did it survive in the tradition till the time of St. John’s Gospel? Why did not one of the other evangelists pick it up? How indeed does it fit in John’s Gospel?
There are no easy answers to any of these questions, though perhaps all one has to say is that it is a great, great story. And what does it mean? A lot of theological ink has been spilled on that subject. Perhaps the most obvious meaning is that Jesus by his attendance at the feast (while the bride and groom were consummating their union in another room or merely behind a curtain while the drinking and singing and dancing went on) endorsed human sexual love. Those puritans, prudes, and party-poopers who will try to tell you that Jewish wedding parties are quiet, sober, restrained events have never been to a Jewish wedding.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time a certain teenage woman was invited to a birthday party. In fact according to all reports it was going to be a super cool party. However, this young woman was at that stage of her maturation where it was necessary to adopt a pose of infinite boredom with life, she was in fact like a flapper in one Evelyn Waugh’s novels about the nineteen twenties from the very act of breathing was an source of infinite fatigue. So she announced that she wasn’t going to the party because it would be “BORING!” Other young women considered her opinion, because she was one of the opinion-makers of her group, but they said well, maybe it won’t be boring. So they decided to attend the party.
Our heroine’s mother kept urging her to give the party a chance because the birthday queen’s mother was such a nice woman. WELL, as we all know if a mother thinks something is worthwhile, by definition it can’t be. Anyway, at the last minute she decided to show up, if only to stop people from talking about her. She walked in the front door of the house, looked around at the thirty young people who were talking, dancing, and eating and said, Nobody’s here! Where’s everybody! So she found a segment of the wall that looked like it needed shoring up and leaned against, with a loud sigh. A nearby angel said she sighed a hundred and forty nine times during the party. Many of the boys at the party tried to talk to her. They offered to bring her food and a coke (the hostess’s mother kept an eagle eye out for other liquids) or a piece of cake.
She just sighed again and shook her head. One boy, by reputation very cool, even brought her a piece of chocolate cake. Barf city she said. When the party was over she walked home by herself. How was the party her mother asked. Oh, said young woman, it was great. Everyone was there and we had a wonderful time.
Psalm 145:1, 9-13
1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name for ever and
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Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
In Memory of Father Andrew M. Greeley
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