Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
May 21st, 2009

Elizabeth Furlong

School of Nursing
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

In archdioceses and dioceses of the United States and in other parts of the world where the Feast of the Ascension is celebrated today, the following readings are used on this Thursday:

Ascension of the Lord
Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Ephesians 1:17-23 or Eph 4:1-13 or 4:1-7, 11-13
Mark 16:15-20

In archdioceses and dioceses of the US states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington or in parts of the world where the celebration of Ascension is transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, the Daily Reflection and readings may be found here:

Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

you to live in a manner worthy of the calling
you have received…

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,…”  Eph 4:1-13

In the United States, I am sure I am one of many Catholics who were educated and socialized into the Catholic faith with the themes from this Reading, i.e., that we were each given gifts and that it was our duty to care for them and to practice them.  When I think of gifts and of the five gifts noted in this Reading (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher), I am inclusive in my thinking and can apply those gifts in many ways.

An apostle can be viewed as a follower, as a leader, and, as a servant leader. (For individuals who teach and practice leadership, they are aware of the body of literature on the concept of servant leadership.)  There are a multitude of daily behaviors that each practices as either an apostle or non-apostle of Christ. 

Many individuals practice the gift of prophecy – they do it by their words and behaviors in leading the rest of us to a more just and humane world.  They are two kinds of people, the proverbial ‘person ahead of her time,’ and the individual who quietly projects prophecy on a daily basis.  They are the critical thinkers and the visionaries.

Everyone has some gift of teaching; this is not left only to the teacher recognized in society.  Every parent knows the joys of teaching.  Every health provider knows the outcomes of teaching.  The individual who is dying teaches his family.  My oldest grandson, Adam, teaches his five younger siblings.  The colleague who is non-defensive, non-judgmental, non-gossipy, and non-prone to rush to judgment teaches.  Writers teach.  Public officials teach.

And, some have other gifts, i.e., evangelists and pastors.  They, too, are found among us.

What is your Gift?  What is your Calling?  What has God graced you with?  How do you protect, cherish, nurture, and practice it?  Do you recognize the many gifts in others?

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