Aloha Friday Message – July 20, 2012 – Whose gift is that?

1229AFC072012

Read it online here.

Romans 12:6aSince we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:28 – Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.

Galatians 5:22-23… the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, [and] Self-Control

1 Corinthians 12:7–11 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  1. The Word of Knowledge
  2. The Word of Wisdom
  3. The Gift of Prophecy
  4. The Gift of Faith
  5. The Gifts of Healings
  6. The Working of Miracles
  7. The Discerning of Spirits
  8. Different Kinds of Tongues
  9. The Interpretation of Tongues

“None of those gifts  or fruits sound like the kinds of things I can do.” If that is what you are thinking, then you may not have found a way to perceive and be aware of your gifts. Recently I attended a class with other Kauaians in the Kauai Catechetical Conference. “Catechetical” comes from the word catechesis which is oral religious instruction usually given in the process of preparation for baptism or confirmation. I strongly support the concept of Ongoing Adult Catechesis for the Laity. The presenter in the sessions I attended was Sharon Chiarucci, the Director of the Office for Parish Resources for the Diocese of Honolulu. Before I go any farther with this I want to say to my Protestant Evangelical friends, “Yes! All of this sounds a lot like what you and I grew up with and continue to expect in our own faith communities. There is nothing uniquely Catholic about this. This is the way it is – or is supposed to be – across all Christendom.” I am beholding to Sharon for the fresh insights she shared on a simple way to discern one’s gifts.

When you think of the things you might be able to share with your faith community, begin by thinking about the things you are good at, the things for which you have developed a passion over the years. For example, I love scripture study, I’m comfortable in front of groups, I have the “gift of gab” like all my siblings, and all of these things come together in being a Lector – a person who reads passages of Scripture during the liturgy. There are also skills that come together for folks who enjoy teaching Sunday School or Religious Education (back in the “old Days” it was “C.C.D.” – Confraternity of Christian Doctrine). The original CCD was founded in 1562 in Rome for the purpose of giving continuing religious education and was aimed mostly at children. Many churches of all descriptions have what I’d call on-going education for adults. In some cases though, it is increasingly difficult to get adults involved in these faith-based learning opportunities. The opportunity to grow in Faith is a very special gift because it is a gift that allows you to grow in service. When you look at your skill-set, what kinds of things do you enjoy most which might have a meaningful connection to your faith community?

Christianity is Community. Sharing is the way the Church started, remember? “And all those who believed were together and everything they had was communal.” (Acts 2 2:44) This was an effective way to keep things organized. As the early church grew, the need for infrastructure also grew. One of the first executive decisions made by the Apostles was the appointment of deacons to help administer the distribution of what was held in common. The deacons were chosen for and among the people of the church. The Apostles told the whole community to choose “seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task.” The selection criteria were designed to find potential servants who could be effective in what they do. If you have something you love to do and you use it effectively, there’s a pretty good chance you have identified one of your gifts.

As the seven men chosen as deacons set to work, others noticed the effect they had on the community and responded to their work with acknowledgement and acceptance. When you offer to present your gifts for the betterment of the community, God blesses that offering by choosing for you something that you can do well and which you love to do. He stirs up in you the desire to serve his church effectively, and he brings glory to his church and to his provident care through the esteem given for the effective works accomplished.  Let’s look at just one of the Gifts of the Spirit for a moment to see how that might translate into an opportunity for stewardship. Let’s look at the first one in the list above – the Word of Knowledge. How is that expressed in your community?

Some of the activities that fit into this gift category are teaching, preaching, technology and science, leading and/or participating in educational conferences or retreats, writing, home-schooling, religious education, and working on the pastoral council. One Gift having many (and many more) applications.

Let’s look at one other gift – Intercessory Prayer. Paul was constantly interceding for the fledgling churches he and the other apostles had founded. This could be usefully expressed in your community through group intercessions (prayer meetings), healing-prayer team, prayer walking/driving, as a parent praying for children (yours and/or others), as part of a prayer chain or circle (like the MBN!), as a sponsor for baptism or confirmation or marriage or ordination, and as a community activist prayerfully leading your neighborhood to a better life.

It is important to understand that God does not limit us to seven Fruits and nine Gifts of the Spirit. There are dozens if not hundreds of Gifts, and the fruits we nurture through the use of our gifts also number much higher than nine.

Recognizing your gift is an excellent beginning. Once it is identified, you will easily understand its origin – God. And, Beloved, since only Good Gifts come from God, the gratitude you feel will help you to acknowledge God’s unchallengeable generosity in giving you the richest imaginable gifts and elicit your uninhibited willingness to share that gift with others. The more you get the more you give because the more you give the more you get. That’s God’s economy, and totally the opposite of human economies. This willingness to share is your stewardship of God’s gifts. When you respond to God’s generosity by returning to him a portion of your time, talent, or financial riches, your stewardship complements and enhances the gifts shared by others so that all things are held in common for the good of all.

 

Next week we will take a closer look at what goes into good stewardship.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

Share-A-Prayer

As mentioned Tuesday, please continue to pray for John as he recovers from surgery for testicular cancer yesterday – 7/19/12

E.C. – healing for feet and knees; confirmation and expansion of spiritual gifts. Healing and health for G & C as they battle through G’s cancer and C tries to hold things together.

T.O. and a score of others who are parents, or siblings, or spouses, or children of some of our Moon Beam Network family who are living in serious addiction. Last news from T.O.’s family and friends: On the street, out of work, destitute, strung-out, tweaked-up, facing away from God.

CO – “Thanks for the prayers! I passed my test!”

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

One Response to Aloha Friday Message – July 20, 2012 – Whose gift is that?

  1. Mahalo for prayers! I was ‘able’ (literally ABLE!) to do almost a whole day of cleaning around outside St. Catherine church. Beautiful weather!! A few friends even honked and waved/yelled at me!! God Bless Carmen, Renee & Arlene for their camaraderie! During lunch and throughout the nice afternoon.

    It is a blessing to act upon a call from ‘outsiders’ (‘little’ Brother Brendan C.) to do stuff that our whole CATHOLIC/CHRISTIAN community should have been doing anyways!

    THANKS for prayers for G & C. I pray I neVer have to do CHEMO or radiation! VERY little hair to fall out!

    I AM praying for aLL of the victims and their families in Aurora, Colorado. And the parents/family of the misguided soul. WE all need to talk to God more. And OUR Lord for more compassion for our fellow humans!!

    ALOHA no ka kou!! I am just another ‘Big-Tall’ brother in Jesu Kristo!! Lanna Hali’as papa eddy

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