My Beloved the benevolent
Grace and Peace wishing you every goodness and blessing
1- The church is the body of Christ and members of the church are members in the body of Christ. St. Paul tells us, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”1Cor.12:27
2-The members of the one body are different; the body is not one part and the parts are not alike. St. Paul says, “If the foot should say, ‘because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body?” 1Cor.12:15-16
3-The body needs the different members, God in His wisdom created different body parts to fulfill the different body functions. St. Paul the apostle explains this saying, “if the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were haring, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.” 1Cor.12:17-20
4-Despite the differing members, each has its importance and the body cannot give up anyone of its members, or it would be an incomplete body. St. Paul adds saying, “and the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty.” 1 Cor. 12:21-23
5-The integrity of the one body depends on the compatibility of its members, and not the competitiveness among its members. St. Paul the apostle says, “. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 1Cor. 12:24-26.
6-We the believers, as members of the church, are members of the body of Christ. Our membership in the body of Christ was accomplished through the baptism that granted us to be born again through the Holy Spirit, and then we received the Holy Spirit to lead us in a life of holiness. The believers are diverse in race, language, talent, ranks, possessions, social status, etc…, but what makes them one body is the Holy Spirit. St. Paul says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized in one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” 1Cor.12:13
7-The differences in the one body offer richness, thus creating a variety of spiritual gifts, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” 1Cor.12:4-6
8-In serving our brethren the needy, we feel their suffering and needs because they are like us – members of the body of Christ. Being poor or needy does make one less honorable. Thus St. James warned in his epistle against humiliating the needy and being partial to the rich, “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and say to the poor man ‘you stand there,’ or ‘Sit here at my footstool,’ have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” James 2:1-4
9-Our belief that we are all members of one body – if one member suffers all the members suffer with them – propels us to care for the needs of the needy as brethren members of one body. “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” James2:15-16
10-Let us care for the needs of brethren the needy and express our love to them in a practical way “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1Jn.3:18.
May the Lord bless your offering to support Santa Verena Charity programs which is a practical expression of our love for our needy brethren.