All shared gifts glorify God

By Linda Zahorik | June 3, 2015

Often when reading “Living Rite” you are encouraged to “look, pay attention to, listen etc.” On this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ you again are being asked to “pay attention.” What may make this assignment easier than most is that no matter what church you attend this weekend, you will have no problem identifying what you are looking for.

First be attentive to Jesus in the Eucharist. The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ identifies with the death of Christ and his resurrection. However, the term “body of Christ” also refers to the members of his church, throughout history, so on this feast day, also pay attention to yourself. After all, are you not a part of the body of Christ?

Consider how you worship within this body. When you attend liturgy, do you come with enthusiasm? Do you really feel “It is good to be here?” Do you give your best to the liturgy by active participation? Perhaps this Sunday is a good time for you to look closely at your relationship to Christ as the head of the body. How obedient are you to him? How much time do you give to him so that you might learn his will for you?

Do you bring a gift of service to the body? Although God has blessed us with individual gifts, they are meant to be shared and when they are shared, the body is built up and God is glorified. Each of us has a role to play. Some roles are visible and some are behind the scenes, but all are valuable. Do you respect and encourage the gifts within your parish regardless of age? For example, a younger member may be blessed with the gifts of enthusiasm or encouragement while the more mature member may be blessed with discernment, prayer and humility. Every gift, every ministry matters in the body of Christ.

How do you function within the body? Do you try to live out the Gospel? Do you readily share with others what Jesus has done for you in your life? Do you believe that each member should work together for the sake of the body instead of personal interest? Do you work hard to promote unity within the body, be it in your family, among your neighbors, within the work place or in your parish community. Do you pray for others in the body? We need to pray for one another, in particular those who do not seem to be deserving of our prayers. How seriously do you take Christ’s words that, if one member suffers, all the other members suffer and that, if one member is honored, all the other members rejoice? Do you make yourself available in prayer or presence to be with those who are suffering? Can you rejoice in the good fortune of others without becoming jealous or belittling? Being in the body is not just a matter of suffering and rejoicing, it is a matter of life. Some days you are needed to supply life to the church; other times you will be the one who needs to receive life through the church.

We as the body of Christ are a visible reminder to the world that God exists. Let us make the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ a real celebration of what we, who are called to be the body of Christ, accomplish in his name. It is far beyond anything we can ever imagine.

Zahorik is pastoral associate at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, Oshkosh.

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