Year C: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: based on St Paul's first letter to the Corinthians Ch. 12: 12-30
Last week, we touched on the divisions in the community at Corinth and today’s reading from the letter St Paul wrote to them shows how deep these may have been - and how radical a rethink they required.
We are accustomed to hearing of the Church referred to as the Body of Christ - but do not perhaps give full weight to what that phrase might mean.
t Paul reminds us that all parts of the body depend on each other - an eye cannot say it does not need the foot - nor can it say that it does not belong to the body. Although its function is different from that of the foot it remains part of the same body... it relies on the foot to get it where it needs to be - and the foot depends on it (or a substitute) to guide it.
Some parts of the body may seem to be more important - but each has its function - and so each is necessary to the well-being of the whole body. If one is in pain - then the whole body knows about it: one has only to think of the act of stubbing a toe or banging an elbow to realise that, though we seldom give them much thought, when they are in pain the greatest of thoughts and proudest of postures give way to wanting to rub them better!
Our communities too form a body - this is part of our discipleship. We are not called to be uniform - but to play our part in maintaining the well-being of the community in which we are placed. It means seeing our differing gifts as complementary rather than divisive - learning to work in harmony with the gifts of others for the greater good.
It is no easier to do that now than it was for the Corinthians - but today’s reading offers a useful image to bring to our deliberations on parish or other community.
Do we really see
ourselves as members of one body with Christ as our head - or do we see
ourselves as separate parts held together in uneasy truce?!
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