1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Brothers and sisters:
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
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.
Last Sunday’s Devotional was on the account in Luke 3 of the Baptism of our Lord. The significance of the narrative is twofold:
- Luke 3 is one of several instances in the Old and New Testaments — see also Genesis 1:26, John 5:7, and Matthew 28 — when the nature of the Triune Godhead is revealed as the sublime mystery of three Persons in one God.
- Luke 3 also speaks to the importance that Jesus holds for the sacrament of Baptism: Even the Son of God, who needed no cleansing, before He began His public ministry. Indeed, the sacrament of Baptism is an act of exorcism — it purifies and sanctifies (makes holy) the person, making him/her a dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Put another way, an unbaptized person is without the Holy Spirit and rendered defenseless against the Evil One.
All of which brings us, quite logically, to today’s reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
With Baptism, not only are we made a dwelling of the Third Person of the Triune Godhead (how awesome is that!), we also receive spiritual gift(s) from the Holy Spirit!
“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”
The spiritual gift may be:
- Wisdom: The capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends”; the opposite of folly.
- Knowledge: The faculty of understanding or knowing; intelligence, intellect; clear and certain perception of fact or truth.
- Faith: Belief in, trust in, and loyalty to God, the result of which should be a transformation — radical change — of the individual.
- Healing: The restoration — making whole or well — of physical, psychological or spiritual health from a state of damage or disease.
- Mighty deeds: Praiseworthy acts or feats that are great, powerful, or skillful.
- Prophecy: The ability, with divine inspiration, to predict the future.
- Discernment of spirits: The ability by intuition and/or theological study to judge various spiritual agencies — the human soul, Divine grace, angels, devils — for their moral influence. Humility is the key to discernment, as well as consulting others and praying for guidance.
- Varieties of tongues: The supernatural ability to speak in a language unknown to the speaker; not to be confused with the acquired skill of speaking in a foreign language.
- Interpretation of tongues: The supernatural enablement to express in an intelligible language an utterance spoken in an unknown language; not to be confused with the acquired skill of language interpretation.
Which spiritual gift were you given?
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!