One Body, Many Parts…
We are each called to use the gifts we are given to serve our Lord:
“For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” -Romans 12:4-8, NAB
If we look back to our study of 1 Corinthians, we spoke often about spiritual gifts. It is a topic that seems to be on St. Paul’s top ten list, and it is definitely at the top of my list as well. Why? Because using our spiritual gifts to serve our God is why we were given them and what we were made for.
Not everyone will have the same gift. Some will be writers. Some will be speakers and teachers. Others will be called to be missionaries and travel the world. Yet, not everyone will be called to a place in the “spiritual gift limelight,” and that’s okay. Some gifts may get more attention than others, but that does not make them any more important.
In my day job, I work at a company that works directly with Catholic publishers to help them sell and distribute books, and while the authors may be the names you recognize, there are dozens of people behind them making it all happen. To get their words from their computer screen to the printed page (and eventually to the palm of your hand), there is a great deal of coordination inbetween. There are a number of people with a variety of gifts that come into play from the beginning of the process to the end.
What are some examples of other gifts? There are the printers who meticulously prepare their presses for the books. There are the designers who create the cover art and promotional materials. There are the shipping clerks who work long hours and ensure the books get to their desired location. There are the salespeople who spend their day convincing you what a great book it is. And their are tech geeks like me, working behind the scenes crunching numbers for a living.
What are your gifts? Are you a baker extraordinaire? Can you mow a lawn and make it look like a professional baseball field? Whatever your gifts may be, once you figure them out, the next step is deciding where to use them. Can you donate some cupcakes for the bake sale? Can you help the parish save money by mowing the lawn for them? There are so many ways to help.
The eyes may see where to go, but it takes the legs, knees, ankles, and feet to get there. The mouth may know what to say, but it needs the ears to listen for a response. We were all given different gifts for a reason. The hardest part is not figuring out what they are, but how to use them. How are you using your gifts?