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Father Dennis’ Reflection

God’s Living Word for Today - Saturday, October 24, 2020

[Eph 4:7-16 and Luke 13:1-9]
Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into Christ [Ephesians]

   One of St. Paul's favorite analogies is the human body as an image of the Christian community as a whole.  A quick reading of 1 Cor. 12:12-27 where he goes into detail with this image but neatly sums it up with the words, "....the body is one and has many members."  Our own experience of our bodies should bear out the image.  We are more than the sum of our parts!  Yet, if one of the parts is not functioning correctly, the whole body suffers.  If one of our five senses is not functioning correctly, our "life" is impacted in dramatic ways!

     The Christian community is the Body of Christ, his physical presence and ministry in the world.  We Catholics tend to forget this because of the emphasis that is placed on the eucharistic presence of Jesus.  Yet, Christ is present when two or three are gathered in his name or his Word is proclaimed.  He is not a ghost at the table, but is present through our presence and in his Word.

     Parents know how a family can be disrupted if one member gets sick.  Pastors know how a parish can be disrupted by "turf" wars.  Indeed, in 1 Corinthians, Paul begins the letter addressing the problem of factions! [1 Cor 1:10-17].  Maintaining bodily unity is a full time task.  As St. Paul points out, the foot has to get along with the hand since both belong to the body. [! Cor 12:15].  In Ephesians today, we are urged to "live the truth in love" and that means recognizing in our American culture that our individualism can be our worst enemy.  Our current election season is bearing that out graphically.  Even within our church there are the kinds of factions that Paul warned about.  Pope Francis has his hands full!    We are challenged always to remember that our baptism makes us part of something greater than ourselves and can help us recognize that each gifted person is important to the whole.

Father Dennis

 

 

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