15 January 2007

To serve the common good...

St. Paul is profound and practical when he writes to the Corinthians, "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." This is the antidote for the pervasive selfishness we sometimes find, even amongst Christians. In His loving generosity God gives us gifts, and too often we repay Him by grasping them tightly to ourselves. We treat them as misers do their money.

The gifts of wisdom, of knowledge, of faith, these are given so they may be shared. Our work for God is to be of service to others. We are to show kindness even when we feel anything but kindly. We are to exercise charity, even when we would rather not.

It is easy to be selfish, mean-spirited, ill-tempered. But we have been called to a higher way, the Way of Christ Jesus our Lord. The Spirit is manifested in our lives so that we may be conformed not to the world, but to God, who has done all things "for the common good."