Saturday of the thirty-second week in Ordinary Time – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 13 novembre 2021

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The expression spiritual gift is used by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:11. He says, more elliptically, literally ‘the spiritual ones’ in 1 Corinthians 12:1 and 14:1. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and especially Paul’s Epistles, have several lists of spiritual gifts. In order to avoid confusion, it has been suggested that four of these lists be named more specifically: the seven gifts, charisms, ministries, and the fruit of the Spirit.

Nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are described by Paul of Tarsus in First Corinthians, chapter 12. In chapter 13, Paul describes the hierarchy of gifts, and makes a hymn to love. In chapter 14, he establishes a hierarchy of charisms for common use. On the subject of speaking in tongues, Paul returns to the need for interpretation: ‘Therefore he who speaks in tongues must pray that he may interpret.

For if I speak in tongues, my spirit prays, but my mind does not profit. (1 Cor 14:13-14). For more details on speaking in tongues and interpretation, see glossolalia. Several movements have helped to bring back the importance of spiritual gifts. These movements have been called « waves ». First there was the « first wave », Pentecostalism in 1906.

Then « the second wave », the charismatic movement in 1960. Finally, « the third wave », the neo-charismatic movement in 1980. Charismatics can be Evangelicals as well as Catholics, Anglicans or other Christian denominations. All emphasise the Spirit and his action in human lives and in the Church.

xEvangelical Christianity, mainly in the Pentecostal, Evangelical Charismatic and Neo-Charismatic movements, places particular emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). This theology of prioritising speaking in tongues is, however, contested both externally and within Pentecostalism itself.

Speaking in tongues can be seen as one possible charism among others. A believer can be born again, and baptized in the Holy Spirit, regenerated and filled with faith, without this life in the Spirit necessarily being manifested in the charism of tongues. « Do they all have healing charisms? Do they all speak in tongues? Do they all interpret? You, be zealous for the best charisms. »
From the book of Wisdom

14 A peaceful silence enveloped all things, and the night of the Passover was in the midst of its swift course; 15 then from heaven, coming from your royal throne, O Lord, your almighty Word melted down in the midst of this land of trouble, like a merciless warrior bearing the sharp sword of your unyielding decree. 16 It stood still and sowed death everywhere; it touched heaven and walked on the earth. (Wis 18, 14-16)

06 The whole of creation was remodelled in its own nature to serve your decrees, so that your children might be kept safe. 07 The cloud was seen to cover the camp with its shadow, and dry land was seen to emerge where there had been only water; from the Red Sea a pathway without obstacles arose, and from the rushing waters a green plain. 08 There the whole people, protected by your hand, passed through, beholding marvellous wonders. 09 They were like horses in a meadow, they leapt like lambs and sang your praise, Lord: you had delivered them. (Wis 19, 6-9)

Wisdom is a gift from God

God acts through his Word; what he did here on behalf of his people was shrouded in the peaceful silence of the night and kept its share of mystery. But the Bible reveals to us from beginning to end that the Word of God is creative and liberating; if it is sharp, it is to destroy evil and to bring about Truth and Life in us. « The Word of God is alive, energetic and sharper than a two-edged sword; it goes to the dividing point of the soul and the spirit [...] it judges the intentions and thoughts of the heart.

In the silence and darkness of our lives, light can shine forth. A life-giving word can be heard and give us confidence and courage. Then we see a little more clearly. Life can be reborn out of suffering, hardship and death. By raising Christ from the grave on the night of Easter, God has opened a breach, he has made a decision for Life, the forces of death no longer have the last word. Let us listen to him with a peaceful heart. Let us be surprised and shaped by the sharpness of his Word

The text of the first reading from the book of Wisdom puts forward the history of salvation, the movement of the world, of humanity, of the whole universe. « The whole creation, in its own nature, was remodelled in the service of your decrees so that your children might be kept safe. The whole people, protected by the divine hand, beheld marvellous wonders…they gave thanks to Yahweh who delivered them.

The book of wisdom confirms the limit of man’s wisdom and opens us to the infinite dimension of God’s wisdom. Wisdom is above all a gift from God. One day, King Solomon wanted to offer a great sacrifice in Gibeon, he wanted to sacrifice a thousand animals for his Lord. It was while he was sleeping there that he dreamed and Yahweh asked him to express a wish and that it would be granted.

The author celebrates the wonders that God did for his people to deliver them from slavery in Egypt. At the end of the book, he returned to the last act of the exit from Egypt, the crossing of the sea, with other motifs of the long journey through the desert to the promised land, such as the gift of the manna. Everything revolves around the theme of the reversal of creation, this change that manifests the power of God who comes to save his people. Nothing is impossible for God. Before him, the elements are transformed, for he is the Lord of the universe.

The words of Wisdom urge us to turn our lives over to God, for he will help us to find that wisdom which will enable us to understand the way of good and to enjoy his presence among us. In the face of the profound changes that have made global society even more complex and uncertain, Wisdom highlights the presence of God as a source of hope.

God will not allow his children to be crushed by the forces of evil that sometimes seem to prevail; nor will he allow those who live in justice and love to be overwhelmed. The crossing of the sea was the fulfilment of the Passover, the passage through the waters of baptism that begat in us a new creature.

The young Solomon, aware of his youth and that the people of Israel were the people of God, asked for wisdom to govern. Yahweh replied: « Since you have not asked for the gold of this world, for kingship, for the death of your enemies, beyond what you ask, I will give you all the riches of this world. God is the source of wisdom. One is not born wise but becomes wise, for wisdom is a gift from God. Wisdom is not a matter of age, it is an openness to God’s grace. Our existence falls apart if we lack wisdom. The wisdom of God is Christ himself.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites

◊ Daily Readings : click here to read the paper →   HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE THIRTY-SECOND WEEK IN Ordsynary time, Yar B

◊ USCCB : click here to read the paper →  Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Gospel and Homily

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