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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.


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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To: All

From: John 2:1-12

The Wedding at Cana

[1] On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of
Jesus was there; [2] Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples.
[3] When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”
[4] And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour
has not yet come.” [5] His mother said to the servants. “Do whatever he tells
you.” [6] Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purifica-
tion, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with
water.” And they filled them up to the brim. [8] He said to them, “Now draw some
out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. [9] When the ste-
ward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it
came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of
the feast called the bridegroom [10] and said to him, “Every man serves the good
wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept
the good wine till now.” [11] This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Gali-
lee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. [12] After this he
went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples;
and there they stayed for a few days.


1. Cana in Galilee was probably what is now Kef Kenna, seven kilometers (four
miles) north-east of Nazareth.

The first guest to be mentioned is Mary: St Joseph is not mentioned, which can-
not be put down to St John’s forgetfulness: his silence here and on other occa-
sions in his Gospel leads us to believe that Joseph had already died.

The wedding celebrations lasted quite a while in the East (Gen 29:27; Judg 14:
10, 12, 17; Job 9:12; 10:1). In the course of the celebrations relatives and friends
would come to greet the newly-weds; even people passing through could join in
the celebration. Wine was regarded as an indispensable element in meals and
also helped to create a festive atmosphere. The women looked after the catering:
here our Lady would have lent a hand, which was how she realized they were
running out of wine.

2. “To show that all states in life are good, [...] Jesus deigned to be born in the
pure womb of the Virgin Mary; soon after he was born he received praise from the
prophetic lips of Anna, a widow, and, invited in his youth by the betrothed couple,
he honored the wedding with the power of his presence” (St Bede, “Hom. 13”, for
the second Sunday after the Epiphany). Christ’s presence at the wedding at Ca-
na is a sign that he blesses love between man and woman joined in marriage:
God instituted marriage at the beginning of creation (cf. Gen 1:27-28); Jesus con-
firmed it and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament (cf. Mt 19:6).

3. In the Fourth Gospel the Mother of Jesus — this is the title St John gives her
— appears only twice: once here, and the other time on Calvary (Jn 19:25). This
suggests Mary’s involvement in the redemption. A number of analogies can be
drawn between Cana and Calvary. They are located at the beginning and at the
end of Jesus’ public life, as if to show that Mary is present in everything that Je-
sus did. Her title — Mother — carries very special tones: Mary acts as Jesus’ true
Mother at these two points in which his divinity is being revealed. Also, both epi-
sodes demonstrate Mary’s special solicitude towards everyone: in one case she
intercedes when “the hour” has not yet come; in the other she offers the Father
the redeeming death of her Son, and accepts the mission Jesus confers on her
to be the Mother of all believers, who are represented on Calvary by the beloved

“In the public life of Jesus Mary appears prominently; at the very beginning when
at the marriage feast of Cana, moved with pity, she brought about by her interces-
sion the beginning of the miracles of Jesus the Messiah (cf. John 2:1-11). In the
course of her Son’s preaching she received the words whereby, in extolling a king-
dom beyond the concerns and ties of flesh and blood, he declared blessed those
who heard and kept the word of God (cf. Mk 3:35; Lk 11:27-28) as she was faith-
fully doing (cf. Lk 2:19, 51). Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage
of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where
she stood (cf. Jn 19:25), in line with the divine plan, enduring with her only-begot-
ten Son the intensity of his passion, with his sacrifice, associating herself in her
mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was
born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross
as a mother to his disciple, with these words: ‘Woman, behold thy son’ (Jn 19:
26-27)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 58).

4. For the meaning of the words of this verse see the section on our Lady in the
“Introduction” above (pp. 35ff). It should also be said that the Gospel account of
this dialogue between Jesus and his Mother does not give us his gestures, tone
of voice etc.: to us, for example, his answer sounds harsh, as if he were saying,
“This is no concern of ours”. But that was not the case.

“Woman” is a respectful title, rather like “lady” or “madam”; it is a formal way of
speaking. On the Cross Jesus will use the same word with great affection and
veneration (Jn 19:26).

[The sentence rendered “What have you to do with me?” (RSV) is the subject
of a note in RSVCE which says “while this expression always implies a diver-
gence of view, the precise meaning is to be determined by the context, which
here shows that it is not an unqualified rebuttal, still less a rebuke.” The Navarre
Spanish is the equivalent of “What has it to do with you and me?”] The sentence
“What has it to do with you and me?” is an Oriental way of speaking which can
have different nuances. Jesus’ reply seems to indicate that although in principle
it was not part of God’s plan for him to use his power to solve the problem the
wedding feast had run into, our Lady’s request moves him to do precisely that.
Also, one could surmise that God’s plan envisaged that Jesus should work the
miracle at his Mother’s request. In any event, God willed that the Revelation of
the New Testament should include this important teaching: so influential is our
Lady’s intercession that God will listen to all petitions made through her; which
is why Christian piety, with theological accuracy, has called our Lady “suppli-
cant omnipotence”.

“My hour has not yet come”: the term “hour” is sometimes used by Jesus to
designate the moment of his coming in glory (cf. Jn 5:28), but generally it refers
to the time of his passion, death and resurrection (cf. Jn 7:30; 12:23; 13:1; 17:1).

5. Like a good mother, the Virgin Mary knows perfectly well what her son’s reply
means — though to us it is ambiguous (”What has it to do with you and me?”):
she is confident that Jesus will do something to come to the family’s rescue.
This is why she tells the servants so specifically to do what Jesus tells them.
These words of our Lady can be seen as a permanent invitation to each of us:
“in that all Christian holiness consists: for perfect holiness is obeying Christ in
all things” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Comm. on St John, in loc.”).

We find the same attitude in Blessed John Paul II’s prayer at our Lady’s shrine
at Knock, when he consecrated the Irish people to God: “At this solemn moment
we listen with particular attention to your words: “Do whatever my Son tells you”.
And we wish to respond to your words with all our heart. We wish to do what
your Son tells us, what he commands us, for he has the words of eternal life. We
wish to carry out and fulfill all that comes from him, all that is contained in the
Good News, as our forefathers did for many centuries. [...] Today, therefore, [...]
we entrust and consecrate to you, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church,
our hearts, our consciences, and our works, in order that they may be in keeping
with the faith we profess. We entrust and consecrate to you each and every one
of those who make up both the community of the Irish people and the community
of the People of God living in this land” (”Homily at Knock Shrine”, 30 September

6. We are talking about 500-700 liters (100-150 gallons) of top quality wine. St
John stresses the magnificence of the gift produced by the miracle — as he also
does at the multiplication of the loaves (Jn 6:12-13). One of the signs of the arri-
val of the Messiah was abundance; here we have the fulfillment of the ancient pro-
phecies: “the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase”, as
Psalm 85:12 proclaims; “the threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall
overflow with wine and oil” (Joel 2:24; cf. Amos 9:13-15). This abundance of ma-
terial goods is a symbol of the supernatural gifts Christ obtains for us through
the Redemption: later on St John highlights our Lord’s words: “I came that they
may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10; cf. Rom 5:20).

7. “Up to the brim”: the evangelist gives us this further piece of information to em-
phasize the superabundance of the riches of Redemption and also to show how
very precisely the servants did what they were told, as if hinting at the importance
of docility in fulfilling the will of God, even in small details.

9-10. Jesus works miracles in a magnificent way; for example, in the multiplica-
tion of the loaves and fish (cf. Jn 6:10-13) he feeds five thousand men — who eat
as much as they want — and the left-overs fill twelve baskets. In this present mi-
racle he does not change the water into just any wine but into wine of excellent

The Fathers see in this good wine, kept for the end of the celebrations, and in its
abundance, a prefiguring of the crowning of the history of salvation: formerly God
sent the patriarchs and prophets, but in the fullness of time he sent his own Son,
whose teaching perfects the old Revelation and whose grace far exceeds the ex-
pectations of the righteous in the Old Testament. They also have seen, in this
good wine coming at the end, the reward and joy of eternal life which God grants
to those who desire to follow Christ and who have suffered bitterness and contra-
diction in this life (cf. St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on St John, in loc.”).

11. Before he worked this miracle the disciples already believed that Jesus was
the Messiah; but they had too earthbound a concept of his salvific mission. St
John testifies here that this miracle was the beginning of a new dimension in
their faith; it became much deeper. “At Cana, Mary appears once more as the
Virgin in prayer: when she tactfully told her Son of a temporal need, she also ob-
tained an effect of grace, namely, that Jesus, in working the first of his ‘signs’,
confirmed his disciples’ faith in him” (Paul VI, “Marialis Cultus”, 18).

“Why are Mary’s prayers so effective with God? The prayers of the saints are
prayers of servants, whereas Mary’s are a Mother’s prayer, whence flows their
efficacy and their authority; and since Jesus has immense love for his Mother,
she cannot pray without being listened to. [...]

“To understand Mary’s great goodness, let us remember what the Gospel says.
[...] There was a shortage of wine, which naturally worried the married couple.
No one asks the Blessed Virgin to intervene and request her Son to come to
the rescue of the couple. But Mary’s heart cannot but take pity on the unfortu-
nate couple [...]; it stirs her to act as intercessor and ask her Son for the mira-
cle, even though no one asks her to. [...] If our Lady acted like this without
being asked, what would she not have done if they actually asked her to inter-
vene?” (St Alphonsus, “Sunday Sermons”, 48).

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.

5 posted on 01/19/2013 8:53:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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