January 20, 2019
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 62:1-5 PS 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10 1Corinthians 12:4-11 John 2:1-11
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord” 1Cor 12:4
When I was a young girl, I prayed to be a saint. In my mind, I knew what that looked like. It looked like heroic poverty, martyrdom, and probably being a nun; and I wasn’t sure that I actually wanted to do that. When I became I grown up, I looked at the dynamic women who organized and ran all of the committees at our local parish in awe at their multitasking abilities. Just listening to all that they did wore me out, and I wondered how slacker me was ever going to grow up to be that kind of Catholic woman. I wish that someone had told me that I didn’t have to. I wish that someone had articulated to me that we can’t all do the same jobs or have the same gifts because the Church would not be able to function that way.
We are the Body of Christ, and like any body out there, there are different parts carrying out different functions. There is the heart that keeps things going, the hands that do the work, the eyes that see; you get the idea. As poetic as it sounds to call us all to be the Hands of Christ caring for the poor and downtrodden, that would be inefficient and ineffective. The hands are vital, but they need the brain to tell them what to do. Those who are the mouth proclaiming the Word to the world are amazing, but we also need the ears to listen. There is not one piece of the Body that is unimportant to the functioning of the whole; we just seem to praise some bits more than others.
Instead of allowing ourselves to feel inadequate for where we fit in to the whole thing, we should figure out how we help and contribute to our own place in the Congregation, what our own gifts are, and how best to share them.
We would do well to set aside our pride and jealousy and remember as Paul wrote:
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
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.
As He wishes. As God wishes. Not as we would like for it to be. Do the work that is given you to do and don’t worry about what everyone else is up to. Eyes on your own paper! This is the test!!
image: U3119414 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons