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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

GREAT LENT - Day 37: Tuesday

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit…Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 27)

In today's reading, Apostle Paul explains one of the great Christian sacraments: the Church and her members. The Church is the completeness of the gathering of the baptized Christians, where the head is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle writes: "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."

Being a member of the body of Christ differs from being a member of an organization or a committee. Through the holy sacrament of baptism, as church members, we become one body, with eyes for a harmonious vision, ears for agreement, and hands for the common work of the Church. The body is healthy, wholesome, and productive only when each member is healthy. The members of the body are not envious of each other, and they do not aim to do the work or the function of one another.

Younger people often strive to find freedom in their independence. They aim to prove their freedom by showing that they do not need the help of their parents or other adults. The desire for independence is usually a sign of maturity or the aim to own one's adulthood. However, when a person tries to do everything on their own strength and abilities, all the while ignoring the willful presence and role of others around them, that person could be led astray. To dismiss or avoid the importance of asking for help from those around us could lead a person to become stubborn and prideful.

To be a member of the Church whose head is Jesus Christ entails that the members embrace humility and acknowledge that we need help from God and each other for us to flourish. Like the human body, we each hold a role in the body of Christ. In response to this kind of humility and harmony, God's Holy Spirit empowers us with spiritual gifts and talents essential for the Church's life and its members' flourishing in our mission. Indeed, the Church's strength is found in its members' unity as they live and work in harmony for the Gospel.

Therefore, may we live and work in the unity of the body of the Church by acknowledging that each one of our individual calls, vocations, talents, and gifts is essential to the wholeness of the body of Christ. In the way we care for the health and safety of our own bodies, Christ also will care for each of His children by strengthening us and keeping us under His divine providence.

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