The wine has run short. The land is desolate. The Christmas decorations have been packed away. There is a sense of tiredness after the buzz of the holidays. Another year has begun. But what do we do with these feelings of emptiness and tiredness? What do we fill ourselves up with?
Lately, I have been wondering if I have been doing any good, if I have been making any sort of positive contribution toward justice, toward the Kingdom of God. Instead of the excitement that should come with a new year, I feel a sense of desolation about having to push through another tough year of struggling for justice. I want to KonMari the world. I want to organize and keep what sparks joy and say “thank you, next” to what doesn’t.Liturgically, we have just started Ordinary Time. There are no major celebrations, nothing in particular to look forward to. True to its name, our time is ordinary. Yet we begin this season with Jesus’ first miracle: the wedding feast at Cana. We see Jesus take an ordinary occurrence (a party running out of wine), ask for something ordinary (to fill the jars with water), and turn it into an extraordinary miracle (the finest wine). We celebrate Ordinary Time to remind ourselves that through Jesus Christ, our time can be extraordinary.
I am reminded that this is a time to celebrate the extra-ordinary and to celebrate our diversity. In the second reading, we are reminded that we all have been given different gifts but of the same spirit, each according to our strengths. I am reminded that I am not alone in this struggle for justice. It is in our working together, you with your gifts and me with mine, that we move toward co-building the Kingdom of God. Our Ignatian family is such a beautiful community that when we come together, our water is turned into wine. And that is something that sparks joy and is a reason to celebrate.
Teresa Marie Cariño is the director of parish faith formation at St. Ignatius Parish in San Francisco, CA.
She formally served as pastoral associate for youth and young adult ministry at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she has deep roots in the Jesuit education tradition.
After graduating from St. Ignatius College Prep, she attended the University of San Francisco (USF), earning a bachelor’s degree in theology and religious studies with minors in Catholic studies & social thought and Philippine studies. While at USF, Teresa worked in the university ministry office and co-founded the student leadership group Ignatian Companions. She also studied abroad with the Casa Bayanihan program at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, working with marginalized communities.
Upon graduation, Teresa joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, spending a year of service working as a tenant organizer in New York City.