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Examine Scripture

Pentecost: Birthday of the Church

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1 Corinthians 12:4-7…

On this Pentecost Sunday, in a reading from 1 Corinthians, we celebrate the birthday of the Church and the gifts given to us through the Holy Spirit:

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.  -1 Corinthians 12:4-7, NAB

For anyone who has followed these Daily Bible Verses for any length of time, you know that speaking about spiritual gifts is a favorite topic of mine.  So today, as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, I would like to write about it yet again.

In the Pentecost narrative from Acts 2:1-11, the Holy Spirit descends on the members of the early Church, and they are given spiritual gifts, such as the ability to speak in tongues.  Using these gifts, the disciples began spreading the Good News about Christ around the world.

Those gifts were not meant just for the earliest members of the Church.  Each one of us today also receives a variety of gifts to use in service of God.  These are the tools that we use to continue evangelizing and sharing the love of Christ.

Each one of us is called to a different mission, and we have gifts to match.  Few are given the extraordinary gifts of speaking in tongues or prophecy.  Most of us have pretty ordinary gifts – it’s how we use them that becomes extraordinary.

A carpenter that travels to Haiti to help build homes is an extraordinary use of his gifts.  A chef who cooks at the local soup kitchen is extraordinary.  A teacher who uses their education background to teach religious education is extraordinary.  There are many ways to use our everyday, average gifts in some very meaningful ways.

Find ways to get involved at your local parish, in the community, or even in some form of missionary work.  Use your skills and talents, whether they come from your career, a hobby, or anywhere else.  God gave you these skills to further your career or give you enjoyment, but He also gave them to you so that you could serve Him.  He wants you to find your unique role within the Church.

This Pentecost, as we celebrate the birthday of the Church, and the coming of the Holy Spirit, find ways to use your ordinary skills, talents, and gifts in extraordinary ways.  Every one of us can make a difference.

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