The Body of Christ at Home and Abroad
The fog of international travel not yet having lifted, we are back again in our local parishes for Sunday mass. Re-entry always has its moments of disorientation: the size of the city, the size of its citizens (Americans live large), the cold, the boundless amenities.
And yet, once again, the readings for this Sunday (3rd in Ordinary time) provide a focus. Things and events settle into their proper order. "Brothers and sisters," Paul says, "As many parts, and all parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ."
The dizzying array of travels our school was blessed to experience - the glory of Rome, the squalor of Tegulcigalpa; the verdant fields of the Ireland, the torrid slopes of Middle east - are all woven together within the mysterious Body of Christ. "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit." (1 Cor. 12:12 ff).
In Christ, Paul says, the illusion of parts gives way to the reality of the whole; the cacophony of sounds betrays a symphony of meaning in motion; disparate limbs and eyes are woven into a body, Christ's body. Because His Spirit is with us, in us, and lives through us, we can travel the globe and yet never leave home. We can return to our work here in Saint Paul, remaining with each other around the world. For we are the body of Christ.