Jesus’ first miracle

Jesus’ first miracle

As I type this on Thursday, I’ve finished saying the Luminous Mysteries. When we think of the miracles of Jesus, physical healings probably jump to mind first since they are recorded so frequently in the Gospels. There are a few Eucharistic-type miracles where Jesus feeds huge hungry crowds with a small amount of food (five loaves of bread would probably last a week in our house. I think carbs deserve to be forgiven for their past sins and rejoin the human family). There are also a few occasions where Jesus raises people from the dead (including Himself). But what about Jesus’ first miracle? I would bet that His first public miracle was intended to have some special significance. I imagine that musicians spend a good bit of time determining which of their songs will be first on their album. Athletes know that scoring the first goal is important in getting a psychological advantage over their opponents. As a teacher, I know the first day of class is important in setting the tone for the entire semester (and I always forget this lesson two seconds after telling my first lame joke). Jesus’ first public miracle was turning water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. We might be tempted to lump this miracle in with the other food miracles like the multiplication of loaves and fish, but a few things set this in its own category. There wasn’t any real physical necessity that Jesus provide wine; the wedding guests weren’t thirsty like the crowds who received the multiplied bread were hungry. Had he not performed the miracle the only real...
Should priests be political?

Should priests be political?

An old friend of mine (a Democrat) was recently telling me how angry she was at Archbishop Chaput for “politicizing the Church”. By preaching on how there should be religious freedom and that the laws should not support infanticide, she felt the Archbishop was overstepping his role as a priest and dipping his toe into the pool of politics. We see claims like this all the time in the media, namely, that by preaching messages that also happen to be Republican, priests are neglecting their spiritual duty to their parishioners. The problem with these accusations is that politics is (generally speaking) the art of governing a nation weighing everyone’s interests and discerning what laws are appropriate and beneficial to that society. The term “legislating morality” is completely redundant. Some framework of morality is necessary for a just society. In America, our country was founded with the presupposition of pluralism, or the general acceptance of all religions to peacefully coexist. That makes it difficult, but necessary to contrive a “civic religion” of sorts, that must stand as an independent moral code to which all people are held. Now, while I am in no way saying that the Church should endorse a candidate for a presidential race, the Church has a responsibility to teach the ways of Jesus Christ and uphold Her own traditions. Priests, as agents of the Church, have a responsibility to evangelize the culture and, in so doing, politics. Admittedly, there does seem to be one party that is receptive to and welcoming of faithful Catholics. The “Catholic vote” is largely a meaningless term and generally goes the exact same way...