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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

A Shower of Gifts for the Building up of the Church

Submitted by on Saturday, 25 October 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Ephesians 4:7-16
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 122:1-2,4-5
  • Gospel Reading:Luke 13:1-9



Communion is not just being together, it is building-up the Church that it may grow to maturity.  And building-up the Church means investing the grace one has received from the Lord as service in the form of ministry.  Paul describes the glorification Christ as an ascent with a downward movement.  The downward movement is the giving of gifts, exemplified by the coming of the Spirit through whose charisms apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers1, and other "builders" of the Church arise.

To note in the graphic illustration below is the contrast between "infancy" and "maturity".  The Church must grow into its full stature, that is, it must become mature in Christ.  The various ministries have for their aim  the building up of the Church in love.

Ephesians 4:7-16
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
7But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ.
8Wherefore he saith: Ascending on high, he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men.
9Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.
11And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors,
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ;
14That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive.
15But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ:
16From whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity.
Psalm 122:1-2,4-5
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.
2Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem.
4For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord: the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
5Because their seats have sat in judgment, seats upon the house of David.
Luke 13:1-9
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1And there were present, at that very time, some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2And he answering, said to them: Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee, because they suffered such things?
3No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.
4Or those eighteen upon whom the tower fell in Siloe, and slew them: think you, that they also were debtors above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5No, I say to you; but except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish.
6He spoke also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none.
7And he said to the dresser of the vineyard: Behold, for these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it done therefore: why cumbereth it the ground?
8But he answering, said to him: Lord, let it alone this year also, until I dig about it, and dung it.
9And if happily it bear fruit: but if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

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  1. Paul mentions these because they were already working in the different Christian communities.  The subsequent growth of the Church will also produce deacons and other ministers, just as today there are different groups performing various ministries in the Church. []

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