We are one body, the body of Christ. St. Paul voiced this article of faith for us today in his letter to the Philippians, but it is the voice and music of the Irish vocalist that rings in my ears, "We Are One Body, the Body of Christ." If my memory serves me, I believe this song was popularized at one of the World Youth Days.
We Catholics experience the reality of these words every time we receive Holy Communion at mass. The priest fractures the bread into smaller particles but when distributed, all are partaking of the one body, Jesus Christ.
Paul spoke of Christ’s body as being diverse with each one of us gifted in a unique way and the gifts that we have received were given to share a truth that still eludes us.
The psalmist today helps our understanding of this truth, “Know that the Lord is God, He made us, His we are; His people, the flock He tends.”
We witnessed the actions of the one God in the gospel passage when He encountered the widow whose only son had died. Jesus was aware that her grief was compounded, not only with the death of her only son, but now there would be no one to care for her. He cared and He demonstrated that He cared with the touch of His hand.
I doubt if the mother of the dead boy was thinking of parallels with what Jesus did and prophets of old, but the crowd was amazed, and no doubt made those comparisons. Not so with Jesus. Pity and compassion were His motivation. He simply said to the mother, “Do not weep.”
This past Sunday we experienced what it means for us to be one body, the body of Christ. Not content to have us believe that we are separate from Him, that we stand alone, Jesus told us the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. Each story spoke of separation and the desire of Christ to restore and make whole the Body of Christ.
We saw the power of Jesus’ Word in calling the young man back to life. This power is ours to be had and used to contribute to building up the one body, the body of Christ, among us today.
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About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!