1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 (NRSV)
Verse 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. Verse 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; Verse 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; Verse 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. Verse 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Verse 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, Verse 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, Verse 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. Verse 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
Verse 12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. Verse 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Division, disorientation, misuse of power, etc. seem to have the upper hand in today’s world. Many leaders think they hold the answer to all that is broken. The ancient world experienced much the same. Competition over the possession of spiritual gifts was causing a split in the early church at Corinth. Spiritual gifts had become symbols of power causing rifts and rivalries. Sadly, that still happens in today’s church. We are called to remember that all gifts are needed for building up the Body of Christ. The very diversity of spiritual gifts accentuates the fact that gifts are meant to be shared. It is said that a gauge for determining a gift is whether the gift contributes to the common good. In other words, does the use of our or my gifts build up the Body of Christ? It must bring God great joy when God’s people respond faithfully and honorably in their mutual sharing of God’s gifts.
Holy Spirit, you endow us with gifts, talents, and abilities to use in our parishes, communities, and in the world. Help us work for the common good so that all we do may be honorable and pleasing to you. Amen.