Immersed in Christ: September 1, 2020
Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial (Psalm 145) is an affirmation of Spirit-guided faith in the sometimes inscrutable ways of God: “The Lord is just in all his ways.”
When Paul says in 1Corinthians 2:10-16, “The Spirit we have received is not the world’s spirit but God’s Spirit helping us to recognize the gifts he has given us,” he is saving us from the plight of the servant who did not “recognize the gift” he was given, and so buried his master’s money in the ground instead of investing it. Jesus’ comment on that was, “To all those who [recognize what they] have, more will be given… but from those who [assume they] have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” The truth is, we are “stewards of the manifold grace of God,” charged to “serve one another with whatever gift each has received.” We need to look forward with joy to giving an “account of our stewardship.”
One gift is that we are “taught by the Spirit,” who gives the power of “interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.” Of course, we ourselvcs have to be “spiritual.” Not every Christian is. “Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit… they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
What does it take to be “spiritual”?
First, we need to accept our identity, not just as members of a “religion” with doctrines, rules and practices, but as “members of Christ,” who by dying and rising with him in Baptism have “become Christ,” a “new creation.”
Second, we have to dedicate ourselves to acquiring the “mind of Christ” through discipleship that lets us experience the gift of enlightenment.
Third, we have to receive, and know we have received, power through the “gift of the Spirit.” We experience this when we try to make all we do bear witness as prophets to the values of Christ.
Fourth, we havc to reach spiritual maturity and generate a “posterity” (bear fruit) through ministry as priests by Baptism. Paul says we are still “people of the flesh” and “infants in Christ” until we have dedicated ourselves to “the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” in love.
Finally, we have to accept the responsibility, based on hope in Christ’s victory, of using our gifts to exercise leadership in initiating change as “stewards of the kingship of Christ.”
Luke 4:31-37 teaches us that Christians transform the world by casting out the demons of our culture with no power but the “authority” of God’s word and the witness of healing love. Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” That is our mandate and mission.
Initiative: Be a steward of his kingship. Use your gifts to transform society.