• Psalm 40: 1-10
  • Isaiah 49:1-7
  • 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
  • John 1:29-41 The first three verses of Psalm 40 are very special to me. They were first brought to my attention by a woman who had been beaten with a lead pipe by her father, and who had accidentally killed her own child. She finally became a highly effective prison minister. Verse 8 of the psalm reminds me of a well-known secret college fraternity ceremony. The new brother is taken in front of the older members, and shown a table with a number of items, which might include a dollar bill, some kind of liquid refreshment, some fraternity badges and symbols, a lancet, and whatever else. He is asked, "Give us what we want most." Anything off the table is wrong, and gets a gentle, brotherly "No". The right answer, of course, is a hand extended in friendship, which the new member is himself offered if he makes three wrong choices ("We want you"... "Thank you, brother.") The Servant Song ("light to the Gentiles") is eminently suitable for the liturgical season. Jesus's words in John 2:4 "Ti emoi kai soi" (TEE eh-MOY KAI SOY, what unto-me and to-you) is obviously an idiom. I don't know how much Koine Greek Jesus and Mary spoke to one another at parties. If the incident is historic, there may have been a corresponding Aramaic expression. The Greek might be, "What do YOU want ME to do about it?" John sees this as the beginning of Jesus's public ministry, and it look as if Jesus began it earlier than He planned, at His mother's request. Based on next week's gospel, Jesus may have intended to begin His public ministry after John the Baptist's public ministry was completed. The story has evoked a variety of comments, from those who ask St. Mary to pull strings with her Son, to those who compare this event with the end of the public ministry (wine into blood), to a very angry fundamentalist who assured me that, no, Jesus made the wine free of alcohol. I once sponsored a man for confirmation in the Episcopal church who was the son of two very conservative Southern Protestants. They were furious with him for joining a denomination in which wine (rather than grape juice) is used for communion. The family business? They own a chain of liquor stores. I am not making this up. This kind of silly business is not characteristic of all conservatives. Back to Ed's Propers
    Ed's Home Page