“Life hacks” are simple tips to make living easier and more fulfilling. They help ordinary people accomplish a variety daily tasks that could otherwise be frustrating or difficult. In our message series for the first five weeks of the New Year, we’re exploring some spiritual life hacks to make connecting with God more accessible and doing his will more trouble-free.
So far, we’ve covered becoming more generous people and spending more time in silent reflection to help us become more aware of our own inherent value to the Creator and he to us. Our spiritual life hack this week is to acknowledge that we actually belong to God.
Since the dawn of time, the Creator has longed for just one thing—to be in relationship with that which he created, especially humankind. But since the dawn of time, man has rejected God’s advances, seeking to do life on his own terms and ignoring the Lord’s proposals to enter a deeper relationship with him.
After leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, Moses brought them to a place in the desert called Mount Sinai, where God invited the people into a covenantal relationship. The people responded, “Everything the Lord has said, we will do” (Ex. 19:8). God then tells the Israelites that he will appear to them three days later. “Be ready for the third day,” he said, “for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people” (Ex. 19:11; Deut. 5:24).
Almost immediately the people rebelled by worshiping the image of a grass-eating bull fashioned from gold. The history of Israel after that is rife with sin, disobedience, and faithlessness, though God himself constantly remained true to the covenant he made. In the fullness of time, however, God sent his Son, Jesus, to establish a new and permanent covenant with us.
The miracle Jesus performed at the wedding feast “on the third day” in this week’s gospel story marks the unfolding of that final act in God’s saving plan. The bride and groom are barely mentioned in the reading because God actually is the groom and his people are the bride. When Mary says, “do whatever he tells you,” she reenacts Israel’s earlier but unfulfilled promise of perfect faithfulness to God at the covenantal wedding at Mount Sinai. The water of that covenant is then transformed by Jesus into the wine of a new, perfected relationship between God and his people.
You belong to God. You are his bride. “As a young man marries a virgin,” the first reading says, “your Builder shall marry you” (Isaiah 62:5). Your life is not your own. Listen to our Sunday message this week, in church or online, to learn how this single truth more than any other will help you discover your own special gifts and unique place in the world.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
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