Priests: Called for the Divine Ministry
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” (V.11,12)
We have all heard the story of Naaman in the Bible and how he was healed of leprosy by the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5: 1-19).. But we tend to overlook the important role played by the young Jewish slave girl who served Naaman's wife In fact, her name is not even mentioned in the story and yet it was through her that Naaman came to learn about Elisha. Considering her circumstances, nobody would have blamed her if she chose to remain silent and looked on at her master's misery. But she decided to rise above those circumstances and not let them affect her. She decided to follow her calling.
Here in this letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul is presenting the purpose the diversity of gifts in each person through the grace of God. Here Paul links different gifts of God with a list of teaching functions in the community. Here Paul used the verb “Build Up” as main the purpose of the diverse manifestations of the gift of Holy Spirit in each person. He insists on the diversity of the gifts required for the one body to function well.
Many times we feel insignificant and do not value what we do. However, the Word of God tells us that all God's people are called towards building the “Body of Christ”. We may think that such tasks are reserved for special and important people - prophets, pastors, and teachers. Instead, the Bible portion tells us that such people are gifts from God to help us in our calling. We are also called to strengthen others through the gifts and talents given by God.
Each one of us has a role to play in this mission of building of the Body of Christ. It may be through our integrity at work, through our creative talents like singing, writing or painting, through our friendships, through helping those in needs or through prayer. That means we are called to fulfill the purpose of our Creator through different functions in the community. We must identify our functions in the community in connection with the larger context of the building up of the Body of Christ. Ultimately, we must ensure that whatever we do will only work towards strengthening the Body of Christ. At the same time we must know that all these functions are not independent functions, but inter-dependent services. The Holy Spirit binds people together in a common effort to build up the human and church community.
So don’t let the worries and troubles of everyday life overcome you and bog you down. As a Christian, you have been entrusted with a very important mission. Let us hear the call of Christ and recognize our functions in fulfilling our God given purposes.
Prayer: Dear Lord, grant us the grace to use our spiritual gifts so as to help others grow in Christ and to build the Church. Please help us to live our life today worthy of thy calling. Above all in this journey of life, let people talk more about you than about me. Amen.
Thought for the day: “Every calling is great when greatly pursued.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
Vinek Alex Cheriyan & Libi Thomas , Clifornia