Comments on the Readings
The reading from the book of Isaiah is pregnant with the themes planted in the rest of the readings.
Isaiah tells us that "Nations shall behold Jerusalem’s vindication" What is vindication? That is a ten dollar word. When someone is vindicated, it means that their name has been cleared of charges against them. It means that someone has been proved to be blameless. Now, what does Isaiah mean when he says, "Nations shall behold Jerusalem’s vindication"? He points forward to a time when the blood of Christ will cleanse all those who belong to the heavenly Jerusalem, and she and her citizens will be counted blameless. We can only be counted blameless if we are associated with the ONE who is blameless, namely Jesus. How do we get to be associated with him?
Continuing on with Isaiah, who goes on to say, "No more shall people call you "Forsaken, "or your land "Desolate, " but you shall be called "My Delight, " and your land "Espoused." For the LORD delights in you and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you."
When does this happen, when does God marry us? At the cross. At the cross, we see the New Adam; Jesus, who has been put into the sleep of death. And what comes from His side, but water and blood. Representing Baptism and the Eucharistic blood that WE will receive here in a moment. What do Baptism and the Eucharist make us when we receive them - His Bride! We are the Bride of Christ, the Church is the Bride of Christ. He calls us - My Delight - Espoused. At the Cross, our Lord purchased you with his own blood. Purchased you from sin and death, from this world of corruption and decay, to make you into a new city, an everlasting city - The Heavenly Jerusalem.
Only on the cross does Jesus give to us His body, blood, soul and divinity. Look at what St. John says - John 19:30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished"; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
He gave up His Spirit. Who was the first to receive the Spirit of God? Was it not Adam, when God formed him out of the dust of the earth and breathed into him the spirit of life? That spirit of life was lost when the first Adam sinned against the Lord, and now the New Adam has come to restore that Spirit.
St. Paul tells us about that Spirit in in his letter to the Corinthians. Read it again, it is not a Spirit of Death, but of Life! Do you feel drained from this weary world? If you do Ask God to enliven in you these spiritual gifts. Jesus died to bring these gifts to you. Imagine that a friend of your's went to great lengths so that you could have a fantastic Christmas, and even exhausted their life filling your Christmas tree with gifts. So your friend died to bring you all of these gifts. Are you going to unwrap them? Maybe just return them to the store?
No way! You would open each one with care and cherish each gift. You would tell people about what your friend did, and each time you used one of those gifts you would remember your friend and their sacrifice for you.
Now Christ has died so that you could once again receive the Holy Spirit - the third person of the Trinity. And now what? Are you going to unwrap the gifts that we read about or not?
Finally, in the Gospel we see a wedding, and look at what Jesus says to His mother when she tells Him that they have no more wine. He says, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." What hour is that? If you continue reading the Gospel of John there is a running theme about Christ’s hour. It is the hour of His suffering and death.
Jesus in a sense is saying, "Mother, there is time when I will give the people wine, but it isn’t yet." That hour is at the Cross when Christ gives us His blood. That hour is NOW when Christ gives us His blood, under the appearance of wine. It is no coincidence that Christ performs His first miracle at a wedding, where no bridegroom is mentioned. Why is the bridegroom not mentioned by name? Because Jesus is the Bridegroom that gives the wedding guests the best wine - Himself.
This is how we are able to sing the New Song spoken of in the Psalm today.
The Cross is where Jesus married us, and it is at every Mass that the covenant of the Cross is renewed. Our Marriage with Christ is renewed. In a marriage, there is a profession of vows and then later the marriage is consummated. The vows that we will speak here is the creed, where we attach ourselves to the truth of Christ and His Church. Later, we recalculate our Love for Christ by receiving communion. First, we say that we are one with Him, then we show it by receiving Him in the Eucharist.
This is why we can't receive communion, unless first we have confessed our sins. We can’t be professing our love to someone we just offended. We must first seek forgiveness. If you have committed a mortal sin, you need to first confess your sins (say confession times, maybe even have confession after that Mass). Once grace is restored, then come to be one with Jesus. Until then, unite yourself in prayer that you might turn away from sin and once again serve the Lord.
In Christ’s death, He marries us who are doomed to die, but in His resurrection we are raised with Him to a New Life in the Spirit. Let us ask God to again bless us, to make us Holy, that we might become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.