Speak Lord: Of our giftedness

spirit-lindisfarne

I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God.

Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. You have been trusted to look after something precious; guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14

It is not every Sunday that there is a direct relationship between the second reading and the other elements of the Liturgy of the Word. The Gospel (generally) is chosen on the principle of each Sunday offering the next part of a semi-continuous reading of the Gospel of the Year, and the first reading and psalm and verse of the Gospel Acclamation chosen to prepare us in some way or other for hearing that reading. The second reading is from a semi continuous reading of one of the Epistles.

But this week, the week of the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, it so happens that the second reading too relates to a principal concern of the other readings: that we should live the faith we have been given.

St Paul urges Timothy and us to recognise the supernatural gifts we have been given, and our natural ones! And he urges us to put them to good use.

  • What gifts do you know you have?
  • Would you see them as natural or supernatural? Or both?
  • How do you use them?
  • For whom do you use them?

Stained glass window in the Anglican parish church of Lindisfarne. (c) 2007, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: living gifts

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The second reading at tomorrow’s Mass of Pentecost speaks of the confessing Christian being ‘under the influence’ of the Holy Spirit. It is a reminder of how some of those who witnessed the disciples on the first Pentecost suspected that they were full of new wine (Acts 2.13). Peter put them right! (Acts 2.15), but there is something intoxicating abut the power and the freedom of the life in faith gifted to us.

And yet, in the daily grind, we can lose awareness of the newness made available to us each day – and made available to us to share with others. Let St Paul raise our minds and hearts to welcome the deeper truth of our lives and their infinite possibilities.

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

  • What gift(s) of the Holy Spirit have you received?
  • How have you taken responsibility for them, using them, developing them?
  • What gifts of the Spirit do you see in those around you? How do affirm and encourage them in their use of the gifts of the Spirit?

Image is from the Living Way United Methodist website