Bishop Eric Menees
In this series of the Bishop’s Note, we have been focusing on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. So far, we’ve looked at the “Traditional” gifts as listed in Isaiah, and we’ve looked at the “Motivational” gifts as listed in Romans. Today we turn to the “Charismatic” gifts as found in St. Paul’s first epistle to the Church in Corinth. In Chapter 12, verse seven of that letter, St. Paul writes: “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7) God freely gives these gifts to His people for the good of His people. These gifts are supernatural abilities given to individuals by the Holy Spirit. They are not the natural abilities of the individual, and they are given for the common good of the people and not to promote the importance of the person in whom the gift is manifested. This is a very important fact to remember – the Charismatic gifts are given to people who are open to being instruments of God’s Grace and Love to others. Therefore, they are to be used in all humility and love; to the Glory of God and the building up of His Church!
St. Paul lists these gifts in verses 8-11 of chapter twelve: “For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
The first gift listed is the “Utterance of Wisdom.” The Greek word for wisdom is Sophia and refers to an intimate knowledge and application of God’s Will through the understanding of God’s Word and an intimacy with the Holy Spirit. Jesus demonstrated this gift when he met with the Samaritan woman at the well (John chapter 4). Jesus spoke into her life when he said to her; “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” (John 4:16-18) Jesus spoke this truth into her life not to shame her, but to let her know that he had an intimate knowledge of her life and so his expressed desire to give her “Living Water” was true.
When I think of someone who has demonstrated the gift of the Utterance of Wisdom in my life I think of Fr. Larry Bausch, my spiritual director. Over the years when we’ve met and I’ve shared my heart’s desires, hurts, joys, and sins, he’s spoken life and wisdom into me and my particular situation. Fr. Larry would be the first to tell you that any wisdom he’s shared with me has come from God the Holy Spirit and not from himself.
I pray that, when you sense that a brother or sister is given the Spiritual Gift of the Utterance of Wisdom, you will take the time to be open and vulnerable sharing your heart’s desires, hurts, joys, and sins, in order that God the Holy Spirit may speak through that individual and into your heart and soul. And I pray that you will be open to the Holy Spirit to give you this gift in order to speak life and love into the heart and soul of a brother or sister!
I pray you all a truly blessed week!
Catechism Questions 162 - 164
162. How do you address God in this prayer?
As Jesus taught his disciples to call upon God, I pray, “Our Father, Who art in heaven.”
163. Who may call God Father?
All who are adopted as God’s children through faith and baptism in Christ may call him Father. (John 1:12-13)
164. If prayer is personal, why do you not say “my” Father?
The Lord Jesus teaches God’s children always to think of themselves as living members of his Body, God’s family of believers, and to pray accordingly.