26 January 2013
Extracted from the 1st letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 12:4-11:
There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them.
The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.
One may have the gift of preaching with wisdom given him by the Spirit; another may have the gift of preaching instruction given him by the same Spirit; and another the gift of faith given by the same Spirit; another again the gift of healing, through this one Spirit; one, the power of miracles; another, prophecy; another the gift of recognizing spirits; another the gift of tongues and another the ability to interpret them.
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to John 2:1-11:
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.
When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said ‘Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’
His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’, and they filled them to the brim. ‘Draw some out now’ he told them ‘and take it to the steward.’
They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine.
Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said; ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.’
This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.
1 gallon = the imperial gallon (≈ 4.546 L)
Assume each stone water jar held an average of 25 gallons. Then Jesus had converted 681.9 L of water into top grade wine.
To be exact - the volume of Wine is the same as 1364 bottles of mineral water that Suppliers sell in Singapore (when each bottle is holding 500 ml of water).
Don’t you think our Jesus is wonderful? 8-)
Here are the Readings in Holy Mass on Sunday 13 January 2013:
1st Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5 (see previ0us page);
Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10 (see previ0us page);
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (see above);
Gospel: John 2:1-11 (see above).
We have extracted the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI based on the aforesaid Readings, so that you could similarly be encouraged. 8-)
GENERAL AUDIENCE OF JOHN PAUL II
"Rejoice with Jerusalem!'
1. The canticle we have just heard is taken from the last page of the Book of Isaiah. It is a song of joy dominated by the maternal figure of Jerusalem (cf. 66: 11), and then by God's own loving solicitude (cf. v. 13). Biblical scholars claim that this final section that opens onto a splendid and festive future is the testimony of a later voice, the voice of a prophet who is celebrating the rebirth of Israel after the dark period of the Babylonian Exile. We are thus in the sixth century B.C., two centuries after the mission of Isaiah, the great prophet under whose name the whole of this inspired work is placed.
We will now follow the joyful flow of this short canticle, which begins with three imperatives which are indeed an invitation to happiness: "rejoice", "be glad" and "rejoice... in joy" (cf. v. 10). This is a shining thread that often runs through the last pages of the Book of Isaiah: the afflicted of Zion are comforted, crowned, covered with the "oil of gladness" (Isaiah 61: 3); the prophet himself says: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in my God" (ibid., v. 10); "as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice" over his people (Isaiah 62: 5). On the page before the canticle which is the object of our song and of our prayer now, it is the Lord himself who shares in the happiness of Israel, about to be reborn as a nation: "Be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in my people" (Isaiah 65: 18-19).
2. The source of and reason for this inner exultation lie in the rediscovered vitality of Jerusalem, risen from the ashes of the ruins to which she had been reduced by the Babylonian armies. Indeed, mention is made of her "mourning" (66: 10), now something in the past.
As is often the case in various cultures, cities are represented with feminine, indeed, maternal images. When a city is at peace it is like a protective and safe womb; indeed, it is like a mother who breastfeeds her children with tenderness and abundance (v. 11). In this light the entity which the Bible calls, using a female term, "the daughter of Zion", that is, Jerusalem, resumes her role as a city-mother who comforts, nourishes and delights her children, that is, her inhabitants. Onto this lively, tender scene descends the Lord's word that has the tone of a blessing (cf. vv. 12-14).
3. God makes use of other images linked to fertility: indeed, he speaks of rivers and streams, that is, water which symbolizes life, the flourishing of vegetation, the prosperity of the earth and its inhabitants (cf. v. 12). Jerusalem's prosperity, her "peace" (shalom), a generous gift of God, will assure her offspring a life surrounded by motherly tenderness: "they will be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees" (ibid.), and this motherly tenderness will be the tenderness of God himself: "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you" (v. 13). Thus, the Lord uses a maternal metaphor to describe his love for his creatures.
We can also read an earlier passage in the Book of Isaiah which gives God a maternal profile: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even though these may forget, yet I will not forget you" (Is 49: 15). In our Canticle the Lord's words to Jerusalem end by taking up the theme of inner vitality, expressed with another image of fertility and energy: that of new grass, an image applied to bones to portray the vigour of the body and of life (cf. Isaiah 66: 14).