Two for one posting....that is, two weeks worth of readings, because I missed last Sunday. These readings to me, seemed all about respect....respect for your country, God and your Mother, not necessarily in that order! In this first reading, the prophet Isaiah "sticks up" for his country, and Israel's righteousness. In recent news, Israeli doctors have done a great job by saving lives in Haiti. Israel should get more respect from the world than it does....and the same with the U.S.
1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
We are told our gifts and talents are from God, and we're showing respect to God by using them wisely....
1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues (languages), and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.
1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-11
The first miracle of Jesus and how His Mother wouldn't take "No" for an answer! Turning water into wine and "saving the best for last"....
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there,
2 and Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
3 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to Him, "They have no more wine."
4 "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."
5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then He told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so,
9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside
10 and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
11 This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him.
The above were last week's readings. For this Sunday's first reading, we hear of the respect the people gave to the sacred scrolls, the Law of God, which is good....
2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand.
3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
4 Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion.
5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up.
6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
The second reading is about respect for yourself and everyone else who has faith in God, even if they are a different nationality, we all belong to one body.
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.
19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,
24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Jesus said prophets usually are not accepted, believed, or given any respect in their own hometown. The people of Nazareth however, were initially impressed with Jesus, until He actually foretold how they would eventually not listen to Him (just as they did not with Elijah and Elisha) and would reject Him too. He was right, but they didn't realize it. Three years later when Jesus would be hanging on the cross, the people would still want Him to prove Himself....by saving Himself. But they didn't understand what needed to be done, for God's will to be accomplished through His death and resurrection.
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole countryside.
15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised Him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And He stood up to read.
17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written:
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
20 Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him,
21 and He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
22 All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.
23 Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' "
24 "I tell you the truth," He continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown.
25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.
26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.
27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian."
28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.
29 They got up, drove Him out of the town, and took Him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.
30 But He walked right through the crowd and went on His way.
All Jesus and the rest of His followers can do is "put the Word out there" and if people don't want to listen, Jesus told His disciples to "shake the dust from your feet (from that town) and move on" which is what He did in this last reading. Another non-Biblical saying that could be used is "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". I hope most, if not all of you, took the time to read this and take it under consideration.