HAVE YOU OPENED YOUR GIFTS?
The Church will soon be celebrating its birthday, the Feast of Pentecost. As with all birthdays, we look forward to the opening of gifts. However, the gifts we read about in the Scriptures, those given to us by the Holy Spirit, are very special gifts. These are the gifts that Jesus knew we would need until He returns in order to carry on His mission and to live as He did.
Jesus promised His disciples that after He was gone, we would not be left alone, that the Father would send an Advocate to guide us, to instruct us and to remind us of all that Jesus taught. He knew that even to this age, the gifts we would receive would be necessary to live in a world which is seemingly determined to erase the memory of Jesus and His message from society. These special gifts are bestowed at Baptism and strengthened at Confirmation. Have we accepted these gifts and used them? The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the weapons that will give Christians the advantage in the battles we face today.
The gift of Wisdom will help guide us in determining God’s will. Understanding will give us insight into the teachings of our faith. Counsel gives us the ability and knowledge of what to do in the situations we face in life. Fortitude will give us the strength to obey and carry out God’s will. Knowledge gives us the ability to discern the will of God. Piety will help us deepen our love for God, and Fear of the Lord inspires us to avoid offending God, and comes not from fear of punishment, but from love.
We all know that a gift unopened, a gift unused, loses its value and lessens the joy of the one who chose the gift. These gifts are chosen by God to be used toward spreading and attaining His Kingdom. The Catechism of the Catholic church (1831) notes that the gifts of the Spirit “complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.” For all upon whom these gifts have been bestowed – it is time to open them up and put them on.
– Marguerite Mullins (last article in this series)