Spiritual Gifts: Given To Be Shared
One year, a husband bought his mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift. The next year, he didn’t buy her a gift. When she asked him why he replied, “Well, you still haven’t used the gift I gave you last year!” How many of us would hear a similar reply from God when asking for new gifts? Do you use your God-given spiritual gifts to benefit others, especially in your parish community?
In our second reading today, St. Paul exhorts the Christians of Corinth not to use their God-given gifts for self-glorification but rather for the benefit of everyone in the community. He reminds them that every believer is given at least one spiritual gift, and that having one gift or another makes no difference, since they all come from the same God. These freely bestowed gifts are workings of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all Christians are called to minister to others with the gifts they have received.
Some are given the gift of wisdom, knowledge, or faith. Others are blessed with the gifts of mercy, kindness, compassion and healing, to care for the sick, the poor, and the needy. A few are given material wealth to share with those less fortunate. Others are given the gift of leadership, to organize and take charge of a parish ministry. Some are called to be Christian parents, catechists, teachers, lectors, ushers, or cantors in Church. One or more of these gifts are bestowed on everyone so we learn to depend on and appreciate one another.
What are your spiritual gifts? If you are not aware, it is important that you discover them. Pay attention to what stirs your heart and pray to God to reveal His gifts to you. You can also ask others who know you and share your Faith what strengths they see in you. A true friend in Christ will help you discover your God-given gifts. When you know your gifts, then, nurture them by using them to benefit others. Our gracious God, who freely bestowed these gifts on you, expects you to share them freely with others. However, keep in mind that God cannot be outdone in generosity.
May God bless you always!
Sr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, IHM