Paul on Paul – 16th January 2022

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 12: 4-11

There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. One may have the gift of preaching with wisdom given him by the Spirit; another may have the gift of preaching instruction given him by the same Spirit; and another the gift of faith given by the same Spirit; another again the gift of healing, through this one Spirit; one, the power of miracles; another, prophecy; another the gift of recognising spirits; another the gift of tongues and another the ability to interpret them. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.

As we pass the halfway point of January, the New Year’s Resolutions we made just 2 weeks ago may have fallen by the wayside…slightly. The determination to write the 100 words a day of the next great novel; or the commitment to photography; or our attempt to learn a language to make up for the lack of success at school. It’s natural to us to want to try new things.

But there can come a moment where, in some things, it is better for us to recognise that we are just not ‘that person’. There are some skills we do not possess and try as we might to acquire them, we never will. As in life, so in the Church. There are some who are called to the priesthood or religious life, but there are others who are not – but called to serve the Church in other ways. Those called to Proclaim the word; those to bring Christ to the sick and housebound; those to welcome familiar faces and new neighbours into the Church Building; to clean the Church or prepare the Church for Mass.

What St. Paul is telling the early Church is just as important in the Modern one – that even though not all of us hold the same role, or have the ability to do so, does not mean what we do is unworthy. There is a perception that the Pope, or the clergy ar ‘The Church’ and the rest of us are just passive observers…nothing can be further from the truth. The flip-side is, of course, that we are all called to serve – however we can. Whether that is service to the poor, leading worship, sharing the Gospel or maintaining the Parish website…“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.

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