|The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter IX: ”That All Things Should be Referred to God as Our Last End” (second entry)
When we keep ever in front of us that Christ is our true end, we will be mindful to consider Him in all things, eschewing the world and sin, remaining humble in the fact that we only own our own sins and faults. In being faithful in this way, we will have the greatest chance, again with God’s assistance, to be able to offer back to Him thoughts, words, and deeds that show our faithfulness and do Him justice.
|Today’s Second Reading: 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
Being Pentecost Sunday, it is only right that we should hear from St. Paul regarding the power, gifts, and fruits of the Holy Spirit given to the faithful disciple. We cannot even confess our faith in Jesus without the Spirit! The Spirit gives different gifts, expecting different service, which manifests itself in different workings. But all the baptized are part of the Body of Christ, thus we have different functions within that Body.
Kempis’s Christ tells us to give everything back to God because it is from Him that all the good we have comes and all the good we do is made possible. As we know, we are asked to return to God these gifts with interest, per His instruction (see Mt 25:14-30). So we cooperate with God (only possible and efficacious because of the gift of grace) and then give Him the glory when we make something of the gifts (or, put another way, talents) He has provided. We are given these gifts of the Spirit “for some benefit.” We all have a part to play, a Bodily function to perform. This great feast of Pentecost is a wonderful time to reflect on how well we have used our gifts, manifested their benefits to others (see the fruits here), and given them back to God with interest. And if we don’t know what are our gifts (review them here) or how to use them for the Lord, prayer and a spiritual director are in order (contact your diocese to find the latter). The Spirit wants to work in us — let’s not forego the opportunity!