Province of St. Albert the Great, USA

Preaching on Martin Luther King Weekend

The following is a homily written by Fr. Greg Heille, OP for this Sunday, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time and the weekend when we celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Gospel this Sunday is John 2:1–11, the Wedding Feast at Cana, where Jesus turns water into wine.

At the bottom of the page is a video of a workshop Fr. Heille put together, Preaching and Racism: Finding our way Forward.

Fr. Heille is a Professor of Preaching and Evangelization at Aquinas Institute of Theology, where he directs the Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and the Lilly-funded Delaplane Preaching Initiative. 

Sr. Thea Bowman

Over the past two years, as I have become committed to bridging the racial divide in my Christian life and  Dominican preaching, I have become drawn to the cause of Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman. In her home diocese of Jackson in Mississippi and across the country, Franciscan Sister Thea was a joyful preacher, educator, missionary disciple, and advocate for cultural awareness and racial harmony. Sister Thea once said, “I think the difference between me and some people is that I’m content to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things to make change. But if each one would light a candle, we’d have a tremendous light.”

I love it at the Easter Vigil when we light each other’s baptismal candles, when the glow of Easter fire casts out darkness, and when we see the light of Christ reflected in the faces of each person present for worship. Today, as we celebrate a Sunday in ordinary time, we are invited to let this Easter glow illuminate ordinary life. Together, we can do our little bit to see and affirm the light of Christ in the many faces of humanity. We can do our little bit from week to week to become what Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned to be a “beloved community.”
Today, the prophet Isaiah says, “No more shall people call you Forsaken, or your land Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight, and your land Espoused.” We can help God fulfill this prophecy by seeing the light of Christ in one another.

Today, St. Paul says to the Christians in Corinth: “Brothers and sisters: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”

Today also, at the wedding in Cana, Jesus turns water into good wine. By the working of the Holy Spirit of Jesus, the water of our ordinary but gifted lives of service can overflow as good wine for the benefit of God’s beloved human community. As Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman reminds us—each day, we can do our little bit to see the light of Christ in each other.

(The top image is “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” created by Brother Mickey O’Neill McGrath, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales)

Remote video URL