1 Corinthians 12:4-11…
NOTE: On Saturdays, I will now be posting reflections for the Saturday evening and Sunday morning Mass readings. Sundays will continue to be special topics based on relevant current events, and weekdays will continue to focus on a given book of the Bible (which is currently Ephesians).
On the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, from St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians:
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. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes. -1 Corinthians 12:4-11, NAB
What are your spiritual gifts? Have you ever taken time to consider them? As we grow and mature in faith, it is important to discern our spiritual gifts so that we may use them to participate more fully in the life of the Church. We each have a role to play, and our spiritual gifts help to define that role. If we are aware of what those gifts are, we can be more effective as members of the Church.
Personally, I found that God has given me a gift and passion for writing, speaking, and technology. I may not be the next G.K. Chesterton, but I can still find ways to put those gifts into practice. By combining it with other gifts, such as my knowledge of technology (websites especially), I am able to bring you this site. This makes effective use of what God has given me. You can do the same.
At the same time, we need to recognize what spiritual gifts we don’t have. Each one of us is uniquely called to different missions, and we should not spend too much time on areas that we do not accel at. Why devout hours and hours to ineffective ministry when you could devote that same time to what God really wants from you?
Acts of service is not one of mine. If I were to focus my time and energy on serving others, I would not be as effective, and I could begin to lose interest. If serving the Church in this way feels like a burden, I may begin to avoid serving the Church altogether. It is better to stay engaged using our gifts than to try to do everything and slowly drift away.
Realize that we each have unique, distinct gifts. You may look at others and wish you had their gifts, but the spiritual gifts that God has given you are equally as important. Sometimes, I feel guilty that I do not have the same compassion and heart for the poor as my wife, but I can now grasp that her gift of compassion is her particular gift. Now, I look for ways to support her in that gift – just as she helps to support me with mine.
God has a mission for you, and He has given you the tools you need – your spiritual gifts – to accomplish that mission. Take time to discern your gifts so that we, as a whole Church, can be more effective at sharing the love of Christ with the world.