God’s Over-Abundant, Miraculous Gifts

20 January 2019 – Second Sunday after the Epiphany

John 2:1-11

Jesus’ transformation of water to wine is the first of seven signs in John. Jesus’ mother in this episode is as the ideal disciple who trusts. Jesus’ response is a Semitism suggesting that someone does not sense oneself concerned with the issue. John’s Jesus is distinguishing between signs that would reveal his glory and his glorification, which John associates with the passion. That Jesus’ mother remains confident in the face of this correction is illustrative of her role as faithful disciple. She reappears during the hour to symbolize future believers Paul identifies as the body of Christ. –– Regina Boisclair

Isaiah 62:1-5

This selection is from the third of three songs of Zion (Isa 60—62) that are considered the heart of Third Isaiah (Isa 56—66). Stylistically Third Isaiah resembles Second Isaiah while reapplying words from First Isaiah as fulfillment. Third Isaiah reflects the era of restoration, and full realization remains for the future. The passage is replete with parallelism: Zion=Jerusalem, silent=quiet, justice=salvation, dawn= burning torch, nations=kings, justice=glory, called=pronounced, glorious crown=royal diadem, LORD (Yahweh)=God (Elohim). . . young man=bridegroom, young woman=bride, marry=rejoice, Builder=God.

The prophet claims that the restored city and surrounding lands will witness the light of salvation with such a shining justice that it will be respected by the nations and their kings and be given a new name by God. Zion, the city, is to be Yahweh’s crown and diadem. . . . Much like Hosea 2:4–7, and Ezekiel 16, the relationship between God and Israel is given marital imagery. Unlike much of Hosea and Ezekiel, here emphasis is on the bridegroom who rejoices for his bride rather than as a husband of an adulterous wife. While the third person plural 62:1b clearly indicates that justice and salvation are Zion’s, the Vulgate rendition in the third singular gave this text a messianic interpretation. In this selection justice and salvation (v 1b) are also related to glory (v 2), a word used to designate God’s presence. Those who first devised this collection likely sensed a connection between the “glory” predicated for Zion and the gospel passage in which the “glory” of Jesus as the true bridegroom of a new Israel is revealed by signs. –– Regina Boisclair

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

In a teaching that extends from 1 Corinthians 12:1—14:40, Paul discusses the spiritual gifts that enriched the Christians in Corinth (1:5–7). However, recognizing that this community was deeply divided, Paul stresses that it is only through the Holy Spirit that these former pagans (v 2) are able to affirm “Jesus is Lord” (v 3). He claims that an utterance such as “Let Jesus be cursed” is not derived from “idols that could not speak,” thus intimating that there are spirits that are not from God.

Paul then lists a variety of gifts, services and activities (wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits and tongues) that the Spirit distributes among the members of the community for their common good (vv 4–5). –– Regina Boisclair

Regina Boisclair, a Roman Catholic biblical scholar, teaches at Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, Alaska.

Homily Service 40, no. 2 (2007): 35-45.

David Turnbloom