Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Perfecti | Be Mature

“Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” – 1 Cor 14:20 (NASB).

 

Photo by Jason Peter on Unsplash


The first Corinthians 14 talks about the gift of tongues or speaking in tongues. The Apostle Paul explains that by the power of Holy Spirit, someone who has it will be talking to God only because other people will not be able to understand it, as it will all be mysterious (Verse 2). It seems like the believers in Corinth were so eager to have this special gift that Apostle Paul needed to address this issue deeper (Verse 12).

He encourages anyone who has it to pray for the ability to interpret it also. Because the person’s spirit is praying but he does not understand what he’s saying (Verse 13-14). Moreover, it does not strengthen other people who hear it (Verse 17). It strengthens the person who speaks it personally, but it is useless for the whole congregation. It’s sad that some believers, even churches, still boast on their abilities in this gift. Apostle Paul himself spoke in tongues more than others but he rather chose five understandable words to help others more than ten thousand words in an unknown language (Verse 19).

Paul used the word ‘children’ as an analogy to describe the behavior of the Corinthians towards this gift (Verse 20). They were encouraged to desire another special ability of the Spirit which is to prophesy. Because anyone who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them (Verse 3). The unbelievers or people who don’t understand will be convicted and called to account by the prophecy and it will lead them to repent and acknowledge the presence of God (Verse 24-25). On the contrary, when all people are speaking in tongues, the unbelievers or outsiders who enter will think they are insane (Verse 23).

It’s our human nature that we want to stand out from the crowd. We tend to be proud of having abilities no one or not many people possess. This would be a pitfall in a ministry. When we preach or teach or even write a reflection on scriptures like this, who exactly are we serving - the Lord, other people or our own pride? Are we still immature like children who want to show off our abilities? What do we seek when we wish for any spiritual gifts? Apostle Paul said, “…seek those that will strengthen the whole church”. May God help us all. Amen.

 

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 by Desire Litaay

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Caritatem Habere | Have Love

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal" — 1 Cor 13:1 (NIV).

 

Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels

 

The Corinthians were completed with many spiritual gifts. One of them was the gift of tongues. Paul reminded them that even the gift of tongues was meaningless without love. A person may speak many languages, but without love, it is meaningless, like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. It is just an empty noise. Whatever does not proceed out of love is only a noise. The apostle Paul emphasized to the Corinthians that having spiritual gifts without having love was useless. Spiritual gifts can fulfill God's will only if they are controlled by the principle of love.

People can give without love. This makes me think of how some people give money to the poor just for showing off and not out of love. They only want to show. People can teach without love. Some people could have all the faith in the world that they could move somebody's heart or literally move mountains but it means nothing without love. People can sacrifice without love. They are not moved by love, but by pride and the need to be recognized.

When I read this letter of the Apostle Paul, I was surprised because so many good values would be in vain without love. Even if people have many talents, have a willingness to sacrifice, have a gift of prophecy, and so on, all of those things are in vain if they do it without love. So what is true love really like?

The perfect model of true love is like what Jesus did for us. He still loves even though he suffers a lot. It was love that made the Lord Jesus forget to rest for the sake of healing many people. It was love that made the Lord Jesus never stop teaching even though he was rejected many times. It was love that put Jesus on the cross and in the cold tomb. He loves not for His own benefit but for love itself. Let's imitate the Lord Jesus in love.

May God bless you always.  

 

 

Reflection on 1 Cor 13:1-13 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Unum Corpus | One Body

"For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body... Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many" —1 Cor 12:13-14.






Our reading today came from 1 Corinthians 12:13-31Apostle Paul was a master teacher. As he was admonishing the church of Corinthians to be in one Spirit in serving the Lord, he used the story to bring the point home. The story he used was the human body. 

He portrayed the church as a human body wherewith the body parts were interconnected one with another. Hand couldn't boast itself, eyes couldn't either. All body parts must work together for one goal. The same with the church, everybody has their own jobs in the church with one goal, which is to glorify God.

May we as God's people in His church, work together to bring glory and honor to His name by doing our parts in the local church. May God bless and keep us.



Reflection on 1 Corinthians 12:13-31 by Pst. Devy Nanlohy
(Listen to the Podcast here)