Sunday, October 25, 2015

Gift of Pastoring

The Gift of Pastoring (Shepherding)

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jer 31:7-9
Heb 5:1-6
Mk 10:46-52

The spiritual gift of pastoring (shepherding) is evident in today’s readings.  In the reading of Jeremiah (31:7-9) we hear, “The Lord has delivered his people. The Lord says, “I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world…they shall return as an immense throng.”  He says he “will console and guide them, lead them on a level road so that none shall stumble.”

What a beautiful description of the spiritual gift of pastoring (shepherding).  In the Uniquely His book written by Sheila Mellick, she defines this spiritual gift as “the special grace to commit oneself to the nurturing, formation and growth of a group of Christians for an extended period of time.
In the letter to the Hebrews (5:1-6) St. Paul describes the spiritual gift of pastor (shepherd) as “one made representative before God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  No one takes the offer upon himself, but only when called by God” citing Aaron as an example.  A person with the spiritual gift of pastor/shepherd understands this unique call.

Finally one with the spiritual gift of pastor (shepherd) follows in the way of Jesus, gathering people around them, helping them to find faith and God’s presence in their everyday lives.  A person with this spiritual gift helps others discover a deepening of their faith.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Greatness and Servanthood

Greatness and Servanthood

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 53:10-11
Hebrews 4:14-16
Mk 10:35-45

Today’s readings talk about serving God.  “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant” (Mk 10:44).  Using our spiritual gifts is one way we serve God.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us our spiritual gifts are to be used to serve God and for others echoing this line from the Gospel of Mark. 

Spiritual gifts and grace are mentioned often in the writings of St. Paul.  In today’s reading written to the Hebrews, St. Paul suggestions that because we have a great high priest, that is Jesus, the Son of God, we can confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. (Heb 4:14-16)

Turning to Jesus for mercy and grace is a good way to gain timely help and strength for enacting a spiritual gift.  Talking to Jesus is a way to listen for what you are being called to do.  So that as disciples we may be like Jesus in sharing the grace God has given, the mercy received and the Holy Spirit to give our lives for many as we use our spiritual gifts in this world.