Monthly Bible Meditation

Daily Offering/Bible Reading
Monthly Bible Meditation
Catholic Web Sites
Morning and Night Prayer
Prayer of surrender
Prayer of Faith & God Bless our family
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Litany to Divine Mercy
Litany of the Most Holy Spirit
Litany to St. Joseph
Our Lady of Lourdes pray for us
Prayer for the souls in purgatory
Pope Francis
It's how you live!
Family sites
Kattar site turns 16


1 Corinthians 12:4-11: Unity in Diversity
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

In this Bible passage, the apostle Paul tells us about the diversity of spiritual gifts the Christians in Corinth had received. When reading Paul’s letters one should always remember that they were written to a specific group and for concrete reasons. The main reasons why Paul was writing to the Corinthians were moral problems and divisions within their community.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul does not ignore the imperfections of the community that he founded: he reproaches them for being divided, each subgroup thinking themselves and their leader superior to the others. At the same time he calls them his beloved children, and begins the letter by praising them “because of the grace of God that has been given [them] in Christ Jesus” (1:4).

How can Paul praise a community where so many things have gone wrong? How can he consider them all the same the body of Christ, God’s Church? It is because Paul, in spite of all their imperfections, is certain of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their midst. We normally recognize the Spirit’s presence in everything that is good and beautiful, but do we see enough how he is at work in imperfect situations? In our lives too, in all their messiness and ambiguity, the Spirit is at work.

It seems like a beautiful idea: God distributing gifts to each one individually. But it also means that we have to learn to live with the fact that we have not received the totality of gifts and that these gifts are not “on demand.” God has bestowed upon us certain gifts whereas others have received gifts that we lack. Instead of being frustrated by this, we should see it as an encouragement to live in communion.

Paul wants the Christians of Corinth to reflect on why they received these gifts. The gifts we receive are not merely for our personal blossoming but are meant to be put together with the gifts of others at the service of Christ and his Church. Yes, despite my best efforts, I lack many gifts, but I am surrounded by other believers; I don’t have to posses all of them myself. The important thing is that the Church as a whole holds the fullness of the grace of God’s Spirit.

And this means two things: first of all that we should “come together to allow the dynamism of the Gospel to be revealed,” as Brother Alois phrases it in the third proposal for 2017. For it is together and only together that the gifts of the Holy Spirit receive their full meaning.

And secondly, when we come together in the Church we have to live our unity in diversity. Just because someone does not practice his faith exactly like me does not necessarily mean he is wrong. We have to be attentive to those who see things differently than the majority, since often in the history of the Church it was a minority, sometimes only very few people, who understood where the Spirit was leading the Church. In fact the Church is what it is when it knows how to listen to its diversity.

There is nothing relativistic in this approach. It does not mean that the Church is a place where, in the name of diversity, each one is entitled to have his own truth. Paul insists very much on the fact that all the believers in Corinth have the same Spirit, the same Lord and the same God. Letting him bring us together in order to discover the variety of his gifts, protecting this variety in our own church and recognizing the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Churches of others are attitudes that will bring us closer to a visible communion of all those who love Christ.

- Do I sometimes wish that I had the gifts of others? Am I fully aware of my own gifts and talents? What can I do to see them not as reasons for self-conceit but as a way of serving others?

- How can our communities be places of unity in diversity, where the gifts of all are fostered? Is it possible to remain together while recognizing and valuing different approaches?


Kattar.ca is a family site that promotes Catholic faith and family news. The site was launched 16 years ago to strengthen Peace, Happiness & Unity among family members spread across continents.

Thank you for taking the time to visit this site. The changes and updates have occurred as a result of your input, support and encouragement.  Thanks once again and if you like to share your thoughts or pictures  please email it to felcy@kattar.ca.  

Copyright 2000 Kattar.ca Images may not be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the copyright holder.