Grace to you!
One of the theological understandings of the Church attributed to Saint Paul is the metaphor of the Church as the Body of Christ. From this was developed the concept of the Church as the Mystici Corporis (mystical body) of Christ.
Pope Pius XII made the concept more popular in his 1943 Encyclical letter Mystici Corporis Christi (Mystical Body of Christ). The Pope explored the organic, living reality of the Church as supernatural/spiritual but also as an institution with physical characteristics. It is a body with varied diverse gifts and talents flowing from Christ the giver of the gifts. The book is a wonderful read.
Saint Paul tells us: “[Brothers and sisters]: So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom 12:5-8).
Every one has been gifted. Our gifts are to serve. The good thing about using our gifts is that it doesn't make it less. God's gifts are not like money or perishable goods that dwindle as they are used. Rather, the more we use our gifts, the more God gives. "No one outdoes God in generosity."
One of the greatest Christian inspirations I have seen comes from those who don't hold back from using their gifts. Holding back isn't good stewardship. You have received freely, be generous with your gifts too.
Remember every gift you have is meant for service. They are to be used for the good and growth of the family, the church, the community and society at large. They are for the common good. They help bless others. Imagine what happens if the gifts you’ve received are used so much so those around you (believers and none believers) become beneficiaries of them. I tell you, you are indeed a blessing to them if you allow your gifts to flourish.
In every little thing, we are to be a blessing. Every little gift used for service adds up. It matters.
Whenever and wherever good is done, God is glorified. Whenever our gifts are used, God is glorified. No gift is too small. Everything you have is crucial. Use it.
I understand sometimes the desire to be humble makes us want to hide our gifts. We don’t want to be in the spotlight. Fair enough. Nonetheless, there are some gifts that when you begin to use them, you can’t run away from the spotlight. That’s the way things are.
Let the concern not to be in the spotlight not stop us from using God’s gifts. Rather, let it keep us humble; and always remember to let the glory go to God, the giver of the gifts. So, embrace what you have and use it.
I pray that God will give us the discernment to know our gifts, courage to use them, and wisdom and prudence to know how and when to use them.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday Week 31 A: Rom 12:5-16; Lk 14:15-24]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.