(Day 7 of the 9-day Pentecost Fasting and Prayers)
Scriptural Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1
Welcome to the seventh day of our Pentecost fasting and prayer novena. Let us begin our reflection today with the beautiful prayer from St. Bonaventure: “Lord Jesus, as God’s Spirit came down and rested upon You, May the same Spirit rest on us, Bestowing His sevenfold gifts. First, grant us the gift of understanding, By which Your precepts may enlighten our minds. Second, grant us counsel, by which we may follow in Your footsteps on the path of righteousness. Third, grant us courage, by which we may ward off the enemy’s attacks. Fourth, grant us knowledge, by which we can distinguish good from evil. Fifth, grant us piety, by which we may acquire compassionate hearts. Sixth, grant us Thy holy fear, by which we may draw back from evil and submit to what is good. Seventh, grant us wisdom, that we may taste fully the life-giving sweetness of Your love.” Our scriptural reference today says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” St Paul deemed it necessary to educate us concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Without these gifts, we cannot carry out the supernatural responsibilities expected of us by the Lord. Gifts of the Spirit are special abilities provided by the Holy Spirit to Christians for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. The list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 includes: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Similar lists appear in Ephesians 4:7-13 and Romans 12:3-8. The gifts of the Spirit are simply God enabling believers to do what He has called us to do. Also, Isaiah 11:2-3 provides us with seven gifts of the Holy Spirit which every Christian should have. They are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” The gifts of the Holy Spirit are part of the “everything we need” to fulfill His purpose for our lives.
Someone may ask, what are the gifts used for? Apostle Paul indicated that the gifts of the Spirit are equally valid, but not equally valuable. Their value is determined by their worth to the church. In dealing with this matter, he used the analogy of the human body. All members of the body have functions, Paul declared, but some are more important than others (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). The service of each Christian should be in proportion to the gifts which he possesses (1 Corinthians 12-14). All believers, as members of the body of Christ, must be serving together in order for the body to be fully-functional. That is why a church needs pastors, teachers, helpers, servants, administrators, those with great faith, etc. All of the gifts of the Holy Spirit working together are needed to produce the full potential of the church. Since the gifts of the Spirit are gifts of grace, their use must be controlled by the rule of love – the greatest of all the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13).Our conversion and baptism into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13) is more than just escaping hell; it is so that we could be a help and blessing to the body of Christ. When you utilize your spiritual gifts, you help to build up the body of Christ.
MASS: RED Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Ps 16:1-2a.5.7-8.9-10.11 (R.1); Accl. Jn 17:21; Jn 17:20-26
ST. JUSTIN, M. (MEMORIAL)
1. Sing with us: “All over the world the Spirit is moving, All over the world as the prophet said it would be, All over the world there’s a mighty revelation, Of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Verse 2) All over His church God’s Spirit is moving, All over His church as the prophet said it would be, All over His church there’s a mighty revelation, Of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Verse 3) Right here in this place the Spirit is moving, Right here in this place as the prophet said it would be, Right here in this place there’s a mighty revelation, Of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
2. “Holy Spirit grant me Your gift(s) —–(mention them) in the name of Jesus.”
3. “Holy Spirit revive all Your gifts that are dormant in me in the name of Jesus.”
4. Take the prayer of the “Litany of the Holy Spirit” in the Amen: It is Done prayer booklet.
5. Take the prayer of the “Spirit of the Living God” in the Amen: It is Done prayer booklet.
Exercise: Spend time in prayer invoking the Holy Spirit to release and revive His gifts in you.
Meditation: 1 Cor. 12:8-10