But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Paul reminds his readers that God sent people equipped with different talents to do the work of ministry in the Church and the world. It’s a helpful reminder. We may not like everything about a certain ‘minister’ but she/he has been equipped with certain Godly talents that are meant to further God’s work.
Two questions follow from this:
Are there people whom I don’t particularly like but who do a ministry well, and without whom the work of God would be diminished in the Church or the world at large? Not just pastors or church staff – fill in the blank – but my co-workers or the homeless. What talents do they exercise for the good of others? Can I focus more on those talents and less on the things I don’t like?
And what talents do I have that are or could be useful for God’s work (ministry) in the Church or the larger world?
—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will.Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.
—St. Ignatius Loyola click here for a downloadable prayer cardPlease share the Good Word with your friends!