Fr Hugh Thomas CssR was the celebrant for this Sunday Mass during the #CCRNSW retreat weekend. You can learn a bit more about him here and here.
The readings were taken from Sunday Week 2 in Ordinary Time, Year C.
The first reading came from the Prophet Isaiah beginning, 'About Zion I will not be silent'. The Psalm response was, 'Proclaim His marvellous deeds to all the nations'. The second reading came from 1 Corinthians 12 about the variety of gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel came from the section of St John where Jesus changes the water into wine at the wedding at Cana.
Fr Hugh Thomas
Today in most churches we talk about marriage because of the setting of the Gospel at a wedding feast. The ministry of Jesus began by His attending a marriage of a man and a woman.
Bride and bridegroom is a theme running all through Scripture beginning in Genesis when He made them male and female. God uses this image of marriage to illustrate His love for us.
We are a people constantly unfaithful to God, but constantly called back to Him. God only chose one race at that time, the Jewish people, yet they were rebellious and inconstant. Sometimes He had to punish them to bring them back to their senses. Despite everything, He still loved them. He still delights in them, and in us. He never took back His choice.
Marriage is important in God's eyes. That's why it is under so much attack.
God loves marriage so much! Is it irreparably damaged? God is able to change things. How? Through us.
Even if you have been wounded, you still have a part to play.
Our witness shows that Christian marriage is still possible, whether it be 15 years to 58 years.
Jesus wanted the guests at the wedding and the wedding couple to have a good time, because marriages are worth celebrating.
These things equally apply not only to Israel but to each of us individually too. In God's eyes we are a princely crown, 'not forsaken, My delight'. God delights in us, even when we are messing it all up.
Some of the Saints have had the mystical marriage experience. He has this for each and every one of us.
It was the Mother of God who noticed that there was a problem with the wine supplies. She knew He would never refuse her. We ask her to pray for all the families who are here – especially for those who are struggling and for families broken but still loved. One day He will restore everything. Believe it!!
The final session of the CCRNSW Retreat wasn't exactly a prayer meeting. The chairs were rearranged into circular formation with an altar-table in the middle. After a brief explanation, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance was brought in and put on the altar-table, and participants were free to just have some 'me and God' time, or to join in the praise and singing that accompanied the Eucharistic adoration. Passages from Rev 5 about the throne room of God, and from Rev 21 about the new heavens and new earth were read out. 'You are the people of Revelation. This is now.' Sometime later prayer teams went around quietly praying over the targets on our individual backs. Following that prayer time people were invited to give testimony to how God had been working in them and speaking to them during the retreat.
And here is the PDF of the notes from the whole Retreat weekend. They run to 18 A4 pages.