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It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of today’s second reading. Paul’s insights give us the foundation for understanding the presence of the risen Jesus among us: an essential part of early Christian experience.
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We have no idea which miracle the historical Jesus first worked. Our four Gospels aren’t much help in determining the event. Each evangelist carefully chooses Jesus’ first miracle. It sets the theme for the rest of his Gospel.
Only in John’s Gospel do we find the changing of water into wine at Cana as the first miracle Jesus performs. There are two keys to understanding its meaning and the theme John is creating. First, throughout his Gospel, John never refers to miracles as miracles. He always calls them “signs.”
As a community gathers to remember and celebrate the baptism of Jesus, all present are offered an opportunity to reflect upon their own sacramental initiation into Christ and the church. Jesus defined himself and his ministry in terms of the Servant described by Isaiah (first reading). Like him, we are called to learn who we are in Christ and what we are called to be and to do in the world.
Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride still attract a lot of attention. But our vices have now also gone virtual.
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Christmas: For this Maryknoll priest, Bangladesh is full happiness and reminders of how beautiful the gift of life can be.
Each Gospel is unique. Each evangelist not only structures his work in a special way, he also treats his main characters differently than the other three, giving them traits or personality dimensions on which his original readers were expected to reflect. Luke’s treatment of Mary of Nazareth is classic.
The late scripture scholar Sulpician Fr. Raymond Brown frequently raised eyebrows when he said, “There are no predictions of Jesus, as we know him, anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures.”