Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 20, 2019
THE TODAY SHOW aired a little feature story about wine. Guests were invited to a fancy wine-tasting party. The room where the event was held was very upscale. There were linen-covered tables filled with shiny stemware. The people attending were all well dressed, so they at least gave the impression that they were the kind of folks you would expect to be acquainted with fine wines. It was a very elegant affair. And then the waiters began to serve…asking RED? or WHITE?…and pouring from bottles that had a very fancy label. The participants were under the impression that they were test marketing high-end wine imported from France.
After everyone had an opportunity to do some serious “tasting,” they were asked for their reactions to the various wines being served. The comments were all positive and made the guests sound like sophisticated and knowledgeable connoisseurs as they extolled the qualities of the fine wine they were drinking. It was then they were told that what they were sampling was “Black Box Wine” that had been poured into bottles and falsely labeled as a French wine from a vineyard.
God does not operate this way! In fact, quite the contrary. Through Baptism, God pours into the most ordinary of vessels The Holy Spirit.
Just as there are different types of wines made from the grapes grown in the same vineyard, so too, as St. Paul explains in our Second Reading, there are different gifts, all coming from the same Spirit.
Some lives are filled with wisdom, which enables a person to look deep into Divine truths and to react to the challenges of life as God would want us do. Those “Ahhhh!” moments bubble up from wisdom.
Some lives are filled with knowledge of the facts and details on which our Catholic faith is grounded. We uncork this flow of information when we have a thirst for certainty…or when we need to explain to someone why we do what we do…or believe what we believe.
Different wines are said to pair nicely with different foods. The gift of faith pairs nicely with the challenges and hardships, enabling one to endure with confidence, certainty, trust, and assurance in the saving power of Jesus Christ.
Healing is thought to be like a rare vintage, available to only a few privileged people, when, in fact, a word, a smile, a short visit often brings comfort and even cure.
There are other gifts that are appropriate for only the odd occasion, but, when needed, they are within easy reach.
The point is this: through our Baptisms, each of us is filled with the Holy Spirit. We are like plain, ordinary black boxes filled with the most extraordinary of wines. Actually more! We are like living wine cellars, stocked with priceless wines of every kind, waiting to be paired with whatever occasion presents itself. We are not judged by how we look…or by our title…rather by what pours forth from us. Each of us has within us what God intends should flow generously for the enjoyment of all. Don’t save the best for last!