1st Reading – Isaiah 62: 1-5
This passage comes from the latter portion of the book of the prophet Isaiah, often referred to as Trito-Isaiah or Third Isaiah because it is believed to have been written by a different author than chapters 1-39 and chapters 40-55. No longer are the people exiled in a foreign land. They have returned home to Jerusalem (Workbook for Lectors, p. 49). This is a song! God rejoices over the restoration of Jerusalem, his people. When in exile, there was influence of other gods and sinful ways. Now that many of His people have returned, all things shall be made new again! How does this speak to you in your life? What outside influences challenge you in your relationship with God? Have you ever had a time when, in spite of these challenges, you could not be silenced? God delights in you! Sometimes it is hard to wrap our heads around a love this big…
2nd Reading – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
From Mary Birmingham, W&W Workbook for Year C, p. 343:
Written about 52-53AD, this letter is one of the earliest pieces of Christian writing. Paul had preached and ministered in Corinth for about 18 months. Corinth was a Greek city filled with diversity and harsh divisions: the very wealthy, the very poor and slaves – a cauldron of religious philosophies, doctrines and intellectual pursuits (not unlike today!). This community was under great pressure in such an environment. Paul’s concern was with those who were emphasizing ‘spiritual gifts’ such as ‘praying in tongues’ with a great deal of self-righteous zeal. Paul was insisting that true spiritual gifts were given for the benefit of the WHOLE community –not for personal advancement and ‘showing off.’ Can you relate to this? What are your gifts and how do you share them?
From Introducing the Practice of Ministry by K. Cahalan (p. 24-28)
Richard Fragomeni says we “live in a baptismal mode,” we are always being baptized into the dynamic movement between death and life, sin and reconciliation, evil and justice, the old and the new. By living in baptismal mode, we hope to discern what our calling is in this life, our vocation. How do we live this way?
- How you live (how you spend your days, what are your commitments)
- What you do (in what ways do you serve God and your community)
- Who you are (what is your sense of self in the context of your relationships and life)
The Gospel – John 2: 1-11
From Workbook for Lectors, p. 51: At the wedding feast at Cana, we see the 1st of 7 signs in the Gospel according to John. There is no other parallel in the synoptic accounts. This sign, turning water into ’good wine’, has obvious connections to the sacrificial meal of abundant feeding we know as the Eucharist. Notice that Jesus does not do anything that causes the water to change into wine; rather, his words coupled with the obedient actions of the servers yield the amazing transformation.
There is an invitation to a feast. Words are said. Jesus’ action turns water into wine. The choice wine is given out. The disciples take the next step on their faith journey. This is what we practice every Sunday!
From Preaching Resources, Jan 2001 & 2007: The 6 large water jugs were used for purification rites – these were ritual ablutions required before and after meals. They held about 120 gallons. By turning this specific water into an almost embarrassing abundance of choice wine, John’s gospel is declaring the messianic era of salvation has indeed come in Jesus. This old way of purification is to be replaced with a faith relationship with Jesus – baptism and following Jesus’ teachings – becoming disciples –‘doing whatever he tells you’ – is the true way to the fullness of life, the salvation that God offers us in Christ. Mary, the model disciple, will not be seen again in this gospel until we find her under the cross – the time and place of Jesus’ full revelation and glory.
From Wm. Barclay, The Gospel of John, Vol 1, p. 105: When John told this story he was remembering what life with Jesus was like; and he said, “Wherever Jesus went and whenever he came into life it was like water turning into wine.” This story is John saying to us: “If you want the new exhilaration, become a follower of Jesus Christ, and there will come a change in your life which will be like water turning into wine.”