January 27, 2016
This past Sunday's readings had us reflecting on the Body of Christ:
Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Now the body is not a single part, but many.
You are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27)
In the diocesan newsletter for the same day, there was an article about the growing divisions in the Anglican Communion. Most notably, the Episcopal Church, its U.S. member church, was suspended from the Anglican synod*, bodies, committees, etc., mostly in part to the Episcopal church's recent acceptance of same-sex marriage.
In short, I saw a stark contrast: the Scripture proclaiming gifts, unity, and "all the people" saying "amen" to Christ's fulfillment, and yet here was this story of a deeply broken, human church who believed it had no recourse but to suspend its own members.
In fact, the Church of England was only founded so that Henry VIII could divorce his wives, since the Pope wouldn't let him. Doesn't get much more "human" than that. And isn't the the Protestant reformation a reactionary movement as well, its central tenets being complaints and negatives, rather than positive assertions from the Son of Man?**
How beautiful, then, that the Catholic Church is the only Body which stems directly from Christ. Our heritage springs unbroken from Jesus and His Apostles; His very words and actions gave us our command, our constitution.
How powerful must the Church be, then, that we were formed not as a reaction to men and their failings, but to the Son of Man? We didn't grow from seeds of fear or anger, but Love and Divine Mercy themselves.
Now this is not to say that we are perfect, nor am I intending to create any sort of "us versus them" mentality. The faults of our humanity within the Catholic are widely apparent and often just as grave. But God, who is so intent on capturing hearts, gave us His own heart, His Son, to redeem our imperfection. God the Son is our leader and founder, and His body nourishes our Body.
So give thanks today that we have, through God's grace, the Son as our King and our nourishment, our founder and redeemer, and eagerly serve the Body of Christ with the gifts He has given you.
Praised be Jesus Christ.