Year C: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: based on St Paul's first letter to the Corinthians Ch. 12: 4-11
Reading the letters that St Paul wrote to the Corinthians, we get the impression of a very diverse, charismatic community - with all the tensions that can create!
The gifts of which St Paul speaks are often called “charismatic” - or charism. This helps to focus them as spiritual gifts designed specifically for the upbuilding of the Church. The problems arise when people set about competing about those gifts as they would with, say, athletic or musical gifts: who is the best? It is not, of course, possible - but human nature being what it is, the Corinthians were determined to try!
Many believed that the
charisms were given to the early Church but had, over the years faded
and become less significant. There were probably many in the Church who
were quite relieved!
As time has passed, the
charismatic gifts have become increasingly seen for what they are: gifts
of the Spirit for the good of all. It is also recognised that the
charisms needed in our day are different from those of the early Church.
Our prophets still speak against poverty and injustice - but on a global
scale. Those with powerful prayer are creating new ways for people to
worship God. Those with the gift to heal may lay hands - but may also
heal through listening. Many in our day use their gifts in the “outside”
world developing the mission of the Church - but all are gifted by the
same Spirit who gifted the Corinthians.
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