Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
More thoughts for meditation
Today’s reading describes the Spirit as a stable source from which different gifts flow. So there is one Spirit, but it’s not generic and won’t become obsolete, because its manifestations differ according to what each of us needs “so we can help each other.”
The question then is, what manifestations of the Spirit do we need today, now, in order to help each other? Ronald Rolheiser, in the beginning of the millennium, suggested that our generation has four unique spiritual disabilities:
- our propensity for distraction,
- our tendency to see individual fulfillment as salvation,
- our proclivity for ideology and fundamentalism,
- and our obsession with sexuality.
He goes on to say that we need a particularized Pentecost for this condition—a new and customized outpouring of the gifts of the Spirit so that we can help each other in these four areas.
- For our distract-ability, he says, we need the spirit of wisdom.
- For our individualism, we need the spirit of depth, resiliency, and understanding.
- For our ideology, we need the spirit of hospitality, and
- for our obsession with sexuality, we need the spirit of full respect.
Suggestions for action
What do we need a Pentecost for today? What are some of our current spiritual disabilities, and which gifts of the Spirit are their antidotes? Make a list of what particularly threatens our livelihood, holiness, and joy. Then, across from each item, name the manifestation of the Spirit we need, like, “the spirit of hospitality,” for example. Lastly, see if someone comes to mind with that spiritual gift, and write their name down too. Pray for everyone you’ve listed, and consider writing one of them a note or email about how you think they are integral to what the Spirit is doing in and through us, to help each other, for such a time as this.
Would you like to explore the spiritual gifts listed in today’s reading and elsewhere in the New Testament? You can find Bible studies and a “test” to take on The Way of Jesus site.