St. Clement of Rome tells us that we’re all different for a reason. Not everyone is cut out to be a leader, but we all have different gifts, and the Church needs all of us. We should try to use the gifts we’ve been given, knowing that every gift—no matter how insignificant it seems—is equally important to the Church.
So, as men and brothers, let us energetically play the part of soldiers, following his holy commandments. Think of those who serve under our generals— think how they follow orders with precision, obedience, and submission. Not everyone is an officer, or a commander of a thousand, or a hundred, or of fifty, and so on. Each one in his own rank does what the king and the generals command. The great cannot exist without the small, and the small cannot exist without the great. Different kinds are mixed together, and that is an advantage to everyone.
Take our own body as an example. The head is nothing without the feet, and the feet are nothing without the head. Even the very smallest parts of our body are necessary and useful to the whole body. They all work together in harmony, and they are all under the same authority, so that the body is preserved.
Then let our whole body be preserved in Christ Jesus. Everyone should be subject to his neighbor according to the special gift he has been given. The rich should provide for the poor; the poor should bless God for giving him someone to provide for him. The strong should not despise the weak, and the weak should respect the strong. The wise man should show his wisdom not in words, but in good works. The humble should not blow his own trumpet, but leave someone else to praise him. Whoever is pure in the flesh should not grow proud of it and boast, but remember that someone else gave him the gift of self-control.
He who made us and formed us prepared his generous gifts for us before we were born, and then introduced us into the world. Therefore, since all these gifts come to us from him, we ought to give thanks for everything to him, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
–St. Clement, 1 Corinthians, 37-38IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Have I earnestly tried to find my proper place in the Church? Or am I envious of others who seem to be more important than I am?
Lord, you taught us all not to wish to be served, but to serve our brothers and sisters. Help me be effective in my own life, and fill me with a spirit of humility and charity.
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