Last year was our first parish life in the spirit seminar and it was amazing! The next seminar saw the speaker give a message on being the body of Christ. He started by explaining that the Holy Spirit came to equip each one of us with His Gift and that He resides in you so you will never remain the same. He pointed out that if you maintained this state of union, whenever you act, God will be recognized. He also stressed that the journey had just begun and that the gift received must be used in the body of Christ to build up the Christian community. In essence, he enjoined us all to proclaim “I am ready and fit to serve; backward never, forward ever!”
He referred to 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 and stated that nobody is so important since we depend on each other and need each other to function well. This has always struck a cord, as I often wondered about the various societies that existed in the Catholic Church and yet how disjointed it all felt except perhaps at harvest time when we all came out to raise funds. He stated that we needed to start loving one another for the fruit of love to manifest and since God is love, this would be possible if He remained in us through His Spirit.
The speaker also emphasized that the focus of those who received gifts was to build up the Body of Christ which entailed the following:
- promoting truth and unity
- being selfless in the service of God
- being obedient to the Body
- manifesting the 9 attributes of the fruit of the Holy Spirit
- being regular in prayer meetings to be refilled with the Holy Spirit
Looking at the five actions above, it dawns on me that building up the Body of Christ entails that ALL of the above must be done and that this construction is a collective action of all five things combined. Indeed how will the Body be built, it you are obedient to the Body but are selfish in your service to God? It will only be a matter of time until the obedience to the Body will clash with your selfish nature when you do not agree to what is being canvassed by the Body. He closed the message by reminding us to remember the commitment we each made to God and to build up the Church with this in mind.
O Lord we thank you for our gifts and ask that you abide forever in us, work with us and act through us, so that we may have the grace to continue to work in your vineyard in Jesus name. Amen.