These last two days the Scriptures have presented us with two powerful messages. Both were from Saint Paul as he wrote to the Corinthians the first time.
On Tuesday he reminds us that we are one body, made up of different parts, but united in the Lordship (the headship) of Jesus Christ. He reminds us that the body is not a single part, but many. Each has a role to play, a part to enflesh that allows the body to be strong and function well. There are first Apostles then prophets then teachers ... there are those with mighty deeds and gifts of healing, assistance, administration and variety of tongues. And Paul was not giving a comprehensive list. We are unique individuals, each gifted in many ways, but all gifted for the common good, for the building up of the Church, for the strengthening of the Body of Christ and for the transformation of the world entrusted to us as her stewards. To accomplish this, we must always strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
Ever since hearing that reading I have been singing (to myself, thank God) the hymn "We are one body" by Dana Scallon, a beautiful song. It also reminded me of our local Western Pennsylvania Catholic radio station WAOB-FM 106.7 (We Are One Body), a great witness to our Catholic Faith.
Today's reading from Paul picks up the theme of love as the primary gift from which all gifts flow. The first line echoes the last line of yesterday's reading "Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts." And then Paul says "But I will show you a still more excellent way." He then describes love in a passage that we often hear at weddings, but which has no limitations to its application in our lives. He reminds us that "...faith, hope love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." We would do well to be attentive to this/these exhortations of Paul to the Church at Corinth, and incorporate them into our lives.