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Thursday, May 9, 2013

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Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98:1-4
John 16:16-20

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"When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word." —Acts 18:5, RNAB

St. Paul came alone to the Greek city of Corinth (Acts 18:1-3). Paul had been given the spiritual gift of teaching. However, he was an outreach team of one, and so his impact was limited. He found work as a tentmaker to support himself (Acts 18:3). It is certainly possible to work a full-time job and evangelize effectively; for example, many in Presentation Ministries have full-time secular jobs and still volunteer our free time to evangelize. Nonetheless, it is clear that Paul's evangelistic outreach was multiplied when his co-workers Silas and Timothy arrived (Acts 18:5).

Paul's two co-workers were exercising the spiritual gift of assistance or "helps" (see 1 Cor 12:28). Their practical and financial support apparently freed Paul from having to spend so much time as a tentmaker. Now that Silas and Timothy were in Corinth to round out the outreach team, Paul could be totally occupied with evangelization, preaching, and teaching (Acts 18:5).

Some of you who read this have also been called by God to be helpers or assistants (1 Cor 12:28). When that gift is not being used or welcomed, the spread of God's Word will be limited. Preachers, evangelists, and teachers need spirit-filled assistants and helpers. If you have this calling, you generally won't receive top billing on the program. However, "be content with what you have" (Heb 13:5) and use your gift bountifully. Those who minister cannot be as fruitful without the Spirit working freely through their helpers.

Prayer:  Father, during the upcoming Pentecost Novena, raise up many assistants and helpers to bring our nation back to You.

Promise:  "You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy." —Jn 16:20

Praise:  Juan repented and went to Confession for the first time in fifteen years. Now he leads a Bible Study at his workplace.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012

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