In the Gospel for this Sunday we hear again the account of our Lord's "first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee," when he turned water into finest wine. It's instructive that the Lord revealed himself, "manifested his glory," in context of a celebration, and that he did so precisely by augmenting the joy of that celebration, with the result that "his disciples believed in him."
There is, of course, a proper and necessary place for mourning and penitence in the Christian life, and, sure enough, Ash Wednesday and Lent will soon be upon us. But Lent leads to Easter. The dominant note, even in our penitence, is joy.
The faith of the Apostles, the apostolic faith, was born in joy and is transmitted in joy and for the sake of joy. And joy, and with it celebration, should be the measure of our own faith and of our community’s health and life.
Hillaire Belloc, an Anglo-French writer and historian and devout Catholic of the early part of the 20th century, summed it up well in a famous little poem:
Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
God bless you,