BIBLICAL POINT OF REFERENCE:
"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes."
~1 Corinthians 12:4-11
I had the honor of reading this passage at Mass yesterday, and for whatever reason, I was so much more nervous than I usually am when I Lector. I tried coming up with reasons why I would be more nervous than I typically am, and one idea popped into my head that hasn't left: this passage resonates with me more than usual. Even as I was reading it in Mass, I had to do everything in my power to keep my voice steady. So I want to explore why this excerpt from 1 Corinthians is so powerful. If you look closely at this reading (brought to you once again by the Biblical Point of Reference), you'll find that God gives us plenty of examples of the spiritual gifts He gives to different types of people. But surrounding all of those spiritual gifts is the understanding that there is only one God that can give any one person these gifts. God clearly states that each one of us is different, and yet we are all made in His image and likeness. But what's so powerful about this passage in the Bible is the last part: "But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes." These spiritual gifts aren't just given - they are given to each person according to what they need and want. When I was at a retreat for a weekend the summer before my freshman year of college, there was a lot of talk about being "slain by the Holy Spirit". For those of you who have never heard of that before, being slain by the Holy Spirit means being so overcome by the Holy Spirit's presence that you fall to the ground. Not to worry - God prevents you from being hurt as you fall to the ground. How do I know? I had the wonderful experience of being slain by the Holy Spirit at this particular retreat. It was a spiritual gift; I asked God to give me the opportunity to be slain by the Holy Spirit and He bestowed it upon me. And it was such a wonderful experience: I felt as though I was at complete peace, both internally and externally. I couldn't move, but I didn't want to move either. I was so calm and peaceful in those few moments. Do you all see how God can individually give us spiritual gifts when we ask for them? And how it doesn't change that there is only one God and King? My challenge for you all today is to ask God for a spiritual gift that will speak to you personally. Don't be afraid to ask for a spiritual gift, and don't be afraid to ask God for a holy opportunity. Maybe being slain by the Holy Spirit is too much for you; maybe instead you seek a spiritual gift of healing, or maybe you wish for the gift of speaking in Tongues. I understand completely that spiritual gifts can be scary, but don't let the unknown power of God keep you from seeing something great. Your Laughing Sister, Callahan
Check out the PRAYER quotes page for more inspiration!