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To: All

From: Isaiah 62:1-5

Names of the new Jerusalem


[1] For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
[2] The nations shall see her vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
which the mouth of the Lord will give.
[3] You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
[4] You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate.
but you shall be called My delight is in her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
[5] For as a young man marries a virgin,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

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Commentary:

62:1-2. The new city of Jerusalem is now explicitly named; it is “Zion” (v. 1). It
will be praised in this new hymn placed on the prophet’s lips, in which he plays
poetically with the names given the city. The depiction of Zion as the spouse of
the Lord became popular among prophets from Hosea onwards.

The first stanza (vv. 1-9), addressed to the city, describes the new situation that
awaits her in terms of a series of names: no one will any longer feel alone or un-
protected, for God has shown Jerusalem the tenderness of a young husband (he
calls her “My delight and “Married”: v. 4). The advantages that derive from spou-
sal covenant can be seen (as in Hosea: cf. Hos. 2:11-15) in metaphors to do
with rich harvests (vv. 8-9).

The second stanza (vv. 10-12), spoken to those living in the city, is an exhorta-
tion to be prepared for when the Saviour will enter in glory in the last days (vv 10-
11; cf. 40:3). The poem ends (v. 12) with further plays on the names given the
city and its inhabitants.

Since the sixth century, Christian tradition has used this poem in the liturgy
of Christmas Day. The birth of Jesus has brought about the joyful union of God
and mankind in a way that surpasses that described in terms of spousal union.
A monk of the Middle Ages made this beautiful comment: “Like the bridegroom
who comes out of his chamber the Lord came down from heaven to dwell on
earth and to become one with the Church through his incarnation. The Church
was gathered together from among the Gentiles, to whom he gave his dowry
and his blessings — his dowry, when God was made man; his blessings, when
he was sacrificed for their salvation” (Fausto de Riez, “Sermo 5 in Epiphania”).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 01/19/2013 8:50:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Kinds of Spiritual Gifts


[4] Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; [5] and there are varieties
of service, but the same Lord; [6] and there are varieties of working, but it is the
same God who inspires them all in every one. [7] To each is given the manifesta-
tion of the Spirit for the common good. [8] To one is given through the Spirit the
utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the
same Spirit, [9] to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by
the one Spirit, [10] to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to
another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of
tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. [11] All these are inspired by
one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

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Commentary:

4-7. God is the origin of spiritual gifts. Probably when St Paul speaks of gifts,
service (ministries), “varieties of working”, he is not referring to graces which are
essentially distinct from one another, but to different perspectives from which
these gifts can be viewed, and to their attribution to the Three Divine Persons. In-
sofar as they are gratuitously bestowed they are attributed to the Holy Spirit, as
he confirms in v. 11; insofar as they are granted for the benefit and service of the
other members of the Church, they are attributed to Christ the Lord, who came
“not to be served but to serve” (Mk 10:45); and insofar as they are operative and
produce a good effect, they are attributed to God the Father. In this way the va-
rious graces which the members of the Church receive are a living reflection of
God who, being essentially one, in so is a trinity of persons. “The whole Church
has the appearance of a people gathered together by virtue of the unity of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (St Cyprian, “De Dominica Oratio-
ne”, 23). Therefore, diversity of gifts and graces is as important as their basic uni-
ty, because all have the same divine origin and the same purpose—the common
good (v. 7): “It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and
ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the
faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of
the Church’s unity. By distributing various kinds of spiritual gifts and ministries
he enriches the Church of Jesus Christ with different functions ‘in order to equip
the saints for the work of service, so as to build up the body of Christ’ (Eph 4:12)”
(Vatican II, “Unitatis Redintegratio”, 2).

8-11. The list of special gifts which St Paul gives here is not meant to be exhaus-
tive, as is also true of the list in vv. 28-30, and those in other letters (cf., e.g. Rom
12:6-9 and Eph 4:11). It is in fact quite difficult to identify exactly what each gift
involves. What is clear is that the action of the Holy Spirit is enormously fruitful
and that in the Corinthian community of the time it took all kinds of forms, some
of them quite exceptional.

Over the centuries and in our own time also, the Holy Spirit can bestow excep-
tional gifts on the faithful, gifts which manifest themselves in dramatic ways, for
God’s power is quite unlimited (cf. Is 59:1); however, these extraordinary gifts
are not the only things that promote the spread of the Church: “Renewal in the
Spirit”, John Paul II teaches, “will be authentic and will have real fruitfulness in
the Church, not so much according as it gives rise to extraordinary charism but
according as it leads the greatest possible number of the faithful, as they travel
their daily paths, to make a humble, patient and persevering effort to know the
mystery of Christ better and better, and to bear witness to it” (”Catechesi Tra-
dendae”, 72). It is important, therefore, to realize that the Holy Spirit continues
to act in the Church: The action of the Holy Spirit can pass unnoticed, because
God does not reveal to us his plans, and because man’s sin clouds over the di-
vine gifts. But faith reminds us that God is always acting. He has created us and
maintains us in existence, and he leads all creation by his grace toward the glo-
rious freedom of the children of God (cf. Rom 8:21)” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is
Passing By”, 130).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 01/19/2013 8:51:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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