Brothers and sisters:
We, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them… -Romans 12:5
What a team! What a team! We’re the best!
No, I’m not referring to the Chicago Cubs or Boston Red Sox, I’m rooting for our scullery team, cleaning up after the senior lunch I attend each weekday. On Mondays, I volunteer serving the meals and washing dishes. Periodically one of the three kitchen manager’s children helps when they are not in school. The youngest one, a ten or eleven-year-old, got all confused when her older brother reported that his kitchen team was the best. What? “Dan said we were the best!” she retorted. Thank God for mothers. Mom came to the rescue by explaining, that’s just Dan “He’s always rooting for the team he’s on.”
I relate well to wanting to be recognized as “The Best…” after all, as my mother and evidently Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1746) often said: “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” St Paul continues after exhorting us to be one body, enumerating the roles or body parts that make up a good team in his day, of prophecy, service, endurance… Howard Gardner, famous for his theory of multiple intelligences, in his 2006 book: “5 Minds for the Future” identifies the gifts he believes we need today: discipline; ability to synthesize; creativity; respect or others; and ethics. Wow, can you imagine being on a team, or in a community that not only professed, but also successfully brought these gifts to play as a team?
Thank you, Saints Paul, and Luke, for reminding us in today’s scripture readings, that we are called, and we’ve been given the gifts we need. I pray that I can recognize my gift(s), freely share those with all, and anyone in my life today, whether in the scullery or the pulpit or in writing this reflection.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.