F1. Why does Isaiah use intimate marital imagery when explaining the relationship between God and the people? Does love between human beings help you understand how much God loves people?
F2. The Lord gives new names to Israel in this First Reading from the Old Testament (“a glorious crown in the Lord’s hand,” “A Royal Diadem [crown],” “My Delight,” and “Espoused”). How would you interpret these loving names in light of the New Testament?
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
S1. Why do you think people are given talents like Van Gogh’s and Bach’s or spiritual gifts like the ones mentioned in the reading? Are they gifts for themselves alone or for sharing with others? Are they to be hidden away or used regularly? Should everyone have the same talents? Are you using whatever talents God gave you?
S2. Paul mentions the gifts of faith, healing, mighty deeds, prophecy, discernment of spirits, varieties of tongues and interpretations of tongues. Are such gifts needed in your community? From where do they come?
G1. Surprisingly, when his own mother said, “They have no wine.” Jesus replied, “How does your concern affect me?” Wasn’t this a rude answer? Why did he say it? In spite of his response, Mary trusted that he would somehow solve the problem. If this trust rates a 10, where would you put your trust when you go to God with your concerns?
G2. Mary has great concern for the newlyweds’ wine shortage problem. According to Pope Francis, what is one thing Mary teaches us when she tells the servers to “Do whatever he tell you.”
Mary, at the very moment she perceives that there is no wine, approaches Jesus with confidence: this means that Mary prays. She goes to Jesus, she prays. She does not go to the steward, she immediately tells her Son of the newlyweds’ problem. The response she receives seems disheartening: “What does it have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). But she nonetheless places the problem in God’s hands. Her deep concern to meet the needs of others hastens Jesus’ hour.
And Mary was a part of that hour, from the cradle to the cross. She was able “to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love” (Evangelii Gaudium, 286). She accepted us as her sons and daughters when the sword pierced her heart. She teaches us to put our families in God’s hands; she teaches us to pray, to kindle the hope, which shows us that our concerns are also God’s concerns.
Homily of the Holy Father, Ecuador
July 6, 2015