1 Corinthians 12:4-11
In John’s gospel miracles are called signs. In the gospel for Sunday Jesus performs his first sign of his new ministry.
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”
It seems that Jesus was not ready to show his giftedness, his miracle working to the wedding guests, and yet, at his mother’s request he changes water into wine. We know from this first sign and from many of the gospel stories that Jesus is gifted in many ways. We also know, if we are really honest with ourselves, that we also are gifted in many ways. The second reading from 1 Corinthians calls us to reflect deeply on how we are gifted and how we use those gifts.
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.
Paul tells us that our gifts are given for some benefit and are not limited to our personal benefit; they are given for others, for the benefit of others. We know how easy it is to hide our gifts if they cost us time and effort. It is easier to hoard or hide our gifts if the cost of sharing them is too high. We also know that sometimes it is difficult to reach out to someone in need and use our gifts to make their lives better, but this is what we are called to do as disciples of the Christ. If we are generous enough to use our gifts for others we should not “toot our own horn’ so others will notice because it is through God’s loving generosity that we are gifted in some way. Reflect on how you have been gifted and how well you use those gifts for others.
At his first sign at Cana in Galilee Jesus’ disciples began to believe in him. Will others believe we are followers of Christ when they see how we use our gifts?
What are your gifts and how do you use them?
What helps or prevents you from using your gifts for others?