Without cost you have received; without cost you are to giveÖ The laborer deserves his keep. Ė Matthew 10:8,10

Some people say the Bible is full of contradictions. Take the verses above. Those who claim church servants should serve without pay quickly declare the first line; while those who receive something, like a stipend, allowance or even a salary, confidently cite the second.

Ahh, but thereís the rub. Without entering into further biblical debates, I believe Godís Word speaks to you where you are. No, itís not just for your mere convenient interpretation of applying the Word for whatever it suits you. I believe itís to show you how big God is, and that His Word cannot be contained in one person or groupís exclusive understanding about it.

Of course, we have the Magisterium where we should abide by the Churchís official teachings. Still, I believe that Godís Word speaks to us in a personal, practical way, as He invites us into a personal relationship with Him. So that if you want to serve the Church for free ó Amen! And if you receive something for it ó then Amen, too! With constant prayer, a discerning spirit, a loving and honest heart, and a righteous and humble life by Godís grace, read Godís Word and confidently live by what it tells you. Alvin Barcelona ( Reflection: Does reading Godís Word inspire you or confuse you more? Be open to how God can speak to you.

Dear God, grant me the grace to read, understand and live by Your Word according to how You want me to live it in my life.

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