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We are a people most gifted by our God and yet we often do not recognize what has been given to us to teach and transform us, and to teach, transform and build up the Body of Christ, the Church.  Empowered by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit from the days of Pentecost, all flesh can know and exercise the wondrous gifts of the Spirit of God.

            All who open their hearts to the action of God�s Spirit have all the gifts of the Spirit, not just a gift.  Too many think that they are not favored by God with even a gift because they are too unworthy, or too unintelligent, or are not good enough.  And yet our God gifts all who say �Yes� to Him, all who ask, all who open their hearts to Him, all who desire to do His work, all who reach out to share what they have been given or have received from Him.

            People who lived 2000 years ago were not much different than we are today.  We still struggle, go through trials, try to overcome our weakness and our emptiness.  But our God has given us the Isaiah gifts to make us mighty in the Spirit of God, to know who we are in Christ and to have the strength to live the full Christian life as true disciples of Jesus.  We receive these gifts at our Confirmation.  We need only to understand what we have received and grow in these gifts.

            When we give control of our lives to the Lord we receive what we call the baptism or the release of the Holy Spirit.            From this point on we may begin to exercise the Corinthian gifts that are given by the Spirit for the building up and strengthening of the People of God, the Church.

            Spiritual gifts are evident throughout the pages of Scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments.  The Patriarchs of old such as Noah and Moses, the prophets, the judges, the apostles and disciples, all exercised gifts of the Holy Spirit of God, who is always active, always present, who only awaits the invitation to be active, to move freely.

            At Pentecost we saw the transformation of the apostles and disciples who went forth from the Upper Room as witnesses, joyfully and boldly proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord.  There was no doubt that Jesus had risen from the dead, that He was alive, that He had given them power from on high, the Spirit who was to remain with them.  The Spirit came with power, gave power, prompted the proclamation of the Good News with power, with signs and wonders following.

            The Church grew boldly and rapidly, because of the love and power evident in those who accepted Jesus as Lord.  Countless numbers gave their lives for their faith in Jesus; the Church grew.  Today, there is a fresh outpouring of the Spirit.  Will you build the Church; renew the Church today by your acceptance of Jesus as Lord in your life? Will you let the Spirit of God work through you to build up the People of God? Will you not limit the Spirit of God, but have faith and be witnesses to the Truth?

            Let there be a fresh outpouring of the Spirit today, tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and the next.


Condensed from  Understanding the Charismatic Gifts by Fr. Peter B. Coughlin, � 1998.  Fr. Coughlin is the Director of Service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of Ontario, Canada.


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