We listen today, in Acts, of how very diverse individuals, all Jewish, heard the proclamation
of Jesus in their own languages. These were likely diaspora Jews who had lived in other lands and had learned different languages and cultures. Throughout the book, the author of Acts is hinting at what will happen later.
The Good News will be received by different peoples and cultures. There will be dialogue between Jesus’ message and each culture, and the message will take root within the culture. Many persons will reject Jesus, but those who accept him will learn to proclaim Jesus, and join in the Spirit’s work of transforming the culture.
We too are invited to join God’s mission in our own culture, approaching with both humility and boldness. We are to be servants, companions, and sometimes prophets, always with charity and openness. The Spirit calls us both to engage in dialogue with others and to proclaim Jesus with our lives.
GIFTS TO BE SHARED
Through Paul’s ministry in Corinth, the Christian community there had sprung up quickly. A variety of spiritual gifts were enthusiastically shared. But that variety led to arguments among them. Some believed that some gifts, such as speaking in tongues, were more important. Those with certain gifts gained honor and status in the community.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul challenged this. He wrote that all are gifted, and all gifts come from the Holy Spirit. The gifts, though quite varied, are fundamentally equal in importance. They have one shared purpose, to proclaim and live the good news of Jesus.
Each of us is invited to consider how the Spirit has given us gifts within the Church to participate in God’s mission in the world. Our gifts are valuable and distinctly ours. But they are no better or worse than the gifts of others. All are given to serve our common purpose. With both humility and boldness, let us share our gifts.
Today’s Readings: Acts 2:1–11; Ps 104:1, 24, 29–30, 31, 34; 1 Cor 12:3b–7, 12–13 or Gal 5:16–25; Jn 20:19–23 or Jn 15:26–27; 16:12–15