The Gifts We Need to Use
May 24, 2015
JN 15:26-27; 16:12-15
Last Sunday, May 17, when the Church celebrated the Ascension of our Lord, if my father were still alive, my parents would have celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. And for all of those years, my mother has kept a set of towels, wrapped very carefully and deliberately, stored away in a special spot in her “linen closet.” The towels were a wedding gift given all those many years ago and never once used.
After I was old enough to realize that there must be something very special about the towels wrapped up so carefully in tissue paper, I asked Mom why we never used them. Her answer was thoughtful. She explained that, at first, she could not bring herself to put them into routine household use because they were so beautiful and she was “saving them for a special occasion.” Then, as years passed and a special occasion presented itself, she would consider bringing them out, but then, she began to think about the relative they received the gift from and decide to “reserve them” a little longer. Her aunt was special to her and the towels took on special meaning because of the special relationship. More years passed, and she would open the linen closet and see them and would be reminded of her wedding day. Eventually, her special aunt died…not knowing that her gift had never been used…and from that point, the towels became a memorial of sorts. I wonder what will happen to those towels when Mom joins Dad in the Eternal Kingdom?
When Jesus returned to the Eternal Kingdom, He kept His promise and sent us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit came to deliver seven very special gifts. It was always intended that the Gifts be put into immediate use. On Pentecost Sunday, the Apostles and disciples, who had locked themselves in the safety of the Upper Room, (like the towels in Mom’s linen closet) managed to make their way to the Temple to celebrate the Feast. Much to their surprise, they were showered with the seven Gifts…and put those gifts into immediate use by going out into the world and sharing them freely.
The gift of WISDOM enlightened them so that they could better appreciate the reasons why Jesus suffered, died, rose, and then returned to Heaven.
The gift of UNDERSTANDING dispelled all reservations and doubts, making it clear to them that their role in Salvation History was to continue Jesus’s mission and ministry in the world.
The gift of RIGHT JUDGMENT proved extremely useful in making choices and decisions that provided complications and challenges due to the noise, distractions, and confusion of this world.
The gift of COURAGE gave them the wherewithal to leave the Upper Room once and for all and go out into the world to share the Good News…even to the point of suffering a martyr’s death.
The gift of KNOWLEDGE brought with it a vision of how things could be in this world if everyone received and accepted the Gifts of the Spirit…and, of course, how things will be when Christ returns in all of His glory.
The gift REVERENCE enabled them to walk humbly before our God.
The gift WONDER AND AWE offered them a glimpse of what awaits all who accept and use the Gifts that The Holy Spirit bestows on us.
What happened to these seven gifts when the Apostles and disciples went to Heaven? They were passed down to you. What will you do with them?