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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

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St. Januarius

1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
Psalm 100
Luke 7:11-17

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"Furthermore, God has set up in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, healers, assistants, administrators, and those who speak in tongues." —1 Corinthians 12:28

Does your church have what it takes? Are you working according to your spiritual gifts? First, we need apostles to establish the Church and to give it the world vision of God's kingdom. Second come the prophets, those gifted to speak God's personal "now" word to us. Third, teachers must be raised up to teach us how to live in Christ. This is no academic exercise; rather, it is practical teaching about relationships, family, work, sexuality, etc. Then the Church needs miracle workers: people who can raise the dead, multiply loaves and fish, stop the storm, and pay the bills.

We also need those gifted in healing the parts of Christ's Body. Many of these ministries need assistants. Without their help, the job won't get done. An administrator pulls it all together and manages not merely with human intelligence but with the Spirit's wisdom. We also need those who speak in tongues to praise the Lord and communicate His love to the community. We can't do all these things or have all these gifts individually, but we need all of them. We must depend on each other.

Are you exercising your spiritual gifts? Is your church merely an organization, or the gifted Body of Christ?

Prayer:  Father, many in the Church are more formed by the world than by the Word. Forgive us and gift us.

Promise:  Jesus "said, 'Young man, I bid you get up.' The dead man sat up and began to speak. Then Jesus gave him back to his mother." —Lk 7:14-15

Praise:  St. Januarius succeeded the apostles by serving as a bishop and by giving his life for Jesus in martyrdom.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Gifts of the Spirit-Introduction on audio AV 3A-1 or video V-3A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006

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