For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Romans 12:4-5 NABRE
Paul uses a familiar analogy, the Church is one body made up of many parts that do not have the same function. Like the body the Christian community is complex, with a variety of distinct members, each performing a vital activity, but all working toward a single overall purpose – the well-being of the entire body, or in the case of the community, the care and well-being of the entire church. Believers are one body in Christ. The individuals who constitute the “we” of the Church, though many, are united by sacramental union of the Messiah’s glorified humanity. Paul tells us, members become living members of Christ’s body through Baptism. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says, “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (12:13.) For Paul the body of Christ is not reducible to a metaphor, it is a metaphysical reality brought about through liturgical actions of the church. So real is the union with Christ and the Spirit that we become individually parts of one another. This is the mystery that theologians call “the communion of saints.” If believers are to exercise the means to share the ministry of the church, then individuals must look beyond themselves to the combined gifts and talents of the united membership.
All members are indispensable, each has gifts that will be used to strengthen the Church from within and to move the body of Christ toward a greater collective maturity and witness in the world. These can be looked at as spiritual or charismatic gifts, manifestations of the Holy Spirit operating in the lives of the faithful (1 Corinthians 12:7.)
Is your gift more important than the community of gifts? Do you recognize you own gift?If believers are to exercise the means to share the ministry of the church, then individuals must look beyond themselves to the combined gifts and talents of the united membership. Click To Tweet
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