The Second reading at Mass on Sunday, the feast of Pentecost – and the last day of Easter -comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He rejoices in the unity and dignity of all Christians, a dignity which comes from their unity in Christ, enlivened by his Spirit.
No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
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.
Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13
Too often we seem to value people because of what they do, rather than what they are, in themselves. And we seem to presume we are part of a zero sum game, where recognition of the virtue and value of one must mean that we value and rate the virtue and value of others less.
This is not the Gospel way. The Gospel shows that to devalue, diminish, one is to devalue, diminish, all. And is to devalue, diminish, Christ. The Gospel also shows how common it is to do this; even for the ‘good’ to do this.
Our values are to be of Christ, and for this to be so we need his animating Spirit, that we might be one, and he might be magnified in our unity in him. Far from being diminished or restricted in this unity, our value and virtue increases for the benefit of all.
- Whose contribution to your good – and ours – might you commonly overlook? Why?
- Whose contribution to your good – and ours – might you commonly highlight and value to the detriment of others (and all!)? Why?
Diocesan Banner, Assisi, 2015. (c) 2015, Allen Morris