Sunday, January 26, 2014

Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service

The week of Jan 26 – Feb 1 is Catholic Schools Week. The theme for this year is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.” There is a passage from one of Paul’s letters that gives us some insight into these three qualities of our Catholic school communities:
1 Cor 12:4-13 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
In this reading, we discover that all three are special gifts that God gives to the Church, the “body” that is made up of many members (vs. 12). Furthermore, these gifts of faith, knowledge, and service are given to each of us not just for our own benefit, but so that we may use them to build each other up and strengthen the Church. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (vs. 7).

Catholic Schools Week reminds us that, when we are good stewards of the gifts that God has given us, then our schools become a place where this work of building up the Church can occur. What can you do to help the people you encounter each day to have faith in God, to grow in their knowledge of Him, and to live a life of service to God and neighbor? We must each ask ourselves this question as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week. The Holy Spirit will provide the answer.

Also notice that these varieties of gifts, and service, and working come from the Spirit (vs. 4), the Lord (vs. 5), and God the Father (vs. 6). Although our God is one God, there exists within Him a diversity of personhood. Since the Church comes from this one and diverse God, it likewise possesses unity (in being one body) and diversity (in the multitude of gifts that the members receive).

Pax Christi,

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