"This was the first of the signs given by Jesus; it was given at Cana in Galilee."
The Word This Week
The Gospel of this second Sunday of Ordinary Time continues the theme of the end of Christmas - revelation. Jesus is revealed to the world by his birth, by his baptism, and by his miracles - the “signs" as John calls them. The wedding in today's Gospel is interpreted in many ways: today, reading the Gospel with the First Reading in mind, we can see it as an image of the way in which God is so close to his people, it is as though he is married to them. Thus Jesus, the spouse of the people, shows God's closeness by revealing his glory in this miracle.
Notes for Readers
First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5
This is a promise of glorious days to come: Israel is in hard times at the moment, so this glowing promise was to lift their hearts and make them look to God as their help. It begins with a firm and determined declaration: "About Zion I will not be silent". Let the first four lines stand alone, before you read the prophecy. Remember that the tone of the reading is exultant. It is a great hymn of comfort and encouragement. Allow this to come out in your reading. Use the words: think about putting colour into words like "glory", "crown ", "splendour", "princely". For the list of nicknames, be careful to pause for a second just before the word in inverted commas, so that people know that it is a name given to the people. Save a little something for the last line - "So will your God rejoice in you." Think of the image of God being presented, and make sure you use words like "rejoice" to their full effect.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Saint Paul is explaining how the community of the Church should function - this is in the context of disputes and arguments in Corinth. Today he is explaining that the Holy Spirit "orders" the Church by giving different gifts to different people - so that everyone can play their part in the life of the community. It might be a useful aid to think about the congregation sitting in front of you during this reading: they are the members of the community of your parish, to whom the Spirit gives these gifts. Paul is reasoning carefully, so take it slowly, and make sure you understand his argument, so that your listeners may do the same. Be careful not to rush through the list of gifts and ministries.
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