No One Can Say To Another “I Have No Need For You”

Yesterday’s Gospel was the beautiful passage in the First Letter to the Corinthians, in which St. Paul talks about the reality that we are all one body. Although the short version of the passages was read in the Mass I attended yesterday, the longer version is one well-worth praying with (over and over again).

There were two lines in Fr. Dale Korogi’s sermon at Christ the King yesterday morning that stayed with me afterward. At one point, he said, “No one is any more baptized than anyone else.” At another, he observed “No one can say to another person, ‘I have no need of you.'”

I think we forget the truth of both of those statements all of the time. Notwithstanding Paul’s explanation that no part of the body is any less important than any other and that “if one part suffers all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy,” we sometimes act as if some parts of the the Body of Christ are more important than others. We do it within the Church (forgetting, for example, that a priest or bishop has different functions than a layperson, but is not, by virtue of that difference in function, any more important or valuable to the body than a layperson) and we do it in other parts of our lives (thinking certain jobs or activities signify something about the importance of the person who holds them). We act, in so many ways, as if one or another part of the Body is more important than others. Yet, we are all baptized into the same Body, no one more so than any other.

And we, sadly, all too often forget that we cannot say to any member of the Body, “I have no need for you.” Some “conservative” Catholics think they have no need for “progressive” Catholics, thinking they’d be better off with a “leaner” Church. Some “progressives” think they have no need for “conservatives,” and would be better off if they went elsewhere Some think they would be better off without the institutional hierarchy of the Church.

The truth is that we are all part of the Body of Christ, a body made up of many parts. All matter. All are needed.