Many Parts, One Body

The first reading for today’s Mass comes from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. It contains the important reminder that we are all part of one Body of Christ. One Body, composed of many parts, each of those parts having different gifts and talents.

We don’t always remember that each of those parts has a unique function that is necessary to the wellbeing of the whole. In human terms it is easy to decide that one job or one talent is better or more important than another. We value certain gifts more than other ones.

Paul’s letter reminds us that each and all of our many gifts are essential. When we are tempted to minimize certain gifts, to decide that some people are more important than others, it is good to reflect on his words: “God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be?…The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you. Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts ar etreated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.”

Is there someone whose gifts you haven’t fully appreciated? Perhaps Paul’s words will help you see them in a different light.


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