We begin our concentration on these chapters of the First Epistle to the Corinthians this week, which means in this Ordinary Time season that we are focusing on how the Spirit of Christ interacts within the life of the church. As always, we are interested in the good of the whole and not just the well-being of individuals. Faith is a corporate exercise, and we wish to emphasize this to the church as a whole. Yes, there is value for the individual, and there are specific disciplines that each one can undertake to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ. But it is how these disciplines and actions weave into the body as a whole that captures our attention in this series. Love is a relational experience and action.
Worship is also a corporate exercise, and finding ways for the congregation to interact during worship would be a great enhancement to the theme. Praying with and for one another, serving Communion corporately by passing the bread and the cups or serving in circles (as long as it can be done safely within protocols): all these actions remind us that we are not worshiping alone, but within a community where there is mutuality and support.
Prayer Reflection: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts,
but the same Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:4
music for his ears alone?
Or was Starry Night only for Van Gogh’s eyes?
Are discerners of spirits
better than those who prophesy?
Is it better to be a healer than a preacher?
Was Mother Teresa more important
than the Jesuit brother who
held the door?
Is red better than blue?
All gifts are
from the same Spirit.
They are each a part of the whole
and given to each of us for each other
or for the common good.
Lord, help us understand.
Thank you for all
Written by Anne Osdieck. Posted on The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University, https://liturgy.slu.edu.
We Abuse Your Gifts
God, we have not known how to use the gifts you have given us. At times, we have misused and abused your gifts, not knowing how to use them in a world where homelessness, pain, disease, injustices, and death affect young and old. We have not encouraged the downtrodden or the outcast of our societies. We continue to build bigger homes, drive fancier cars, and wear fine clothes at the expense of those who live below the poverty line. Forgive us for our lack of caring and sharing.
God, we have not known how to use the gits you have given us. We have failed to share words of wisdom with our young – those words that let them know they have value and worth, those words that help those in prison know that, though they are locked out of our society, they are not locked out of God’s grace or mercy. Forgive us for not using our gifts to bless. God, we don’t want to be ignorant; so help us use the gifts you have given us in the spirit you gave them, to build your kingdom and your people. Amen.
Bryan K. Fleet, The Africana Worship Book for Year C, (Discipleship Resources, 2008), 143.