Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
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We are one body
Have you ever had the occasion to watch a symphony orchestra rehearse? I was fortunate many years ago to be able to spend about an hour watching a symphony and I can tell you it is amazing to watch. It is interesting because of all the instruments, and musicians that come together and contribute their piece of the composition. At the helm is the conductor, who puts all the elements together and quickly corrects one of the musicians if what they are playing is not fitting with the others. After all the rehearsals are over, we get the finished product, which is a masterfully woven composition with all the parts working perfectly together.
I read a piece in another reflection that I think capsulizes this very well. It says “We are intended to be a symphony, an orchestra, a group that harmonizes and seeks agreement. Jesus is not only part of our ensemble, but He is also the Director. His command is to love one another and through that love to seek to harmonize and to live our lives in emulation of Christ.”
What jumps out to me about the symphony is the fact that all the musicians are so interdependent of one another. The same is true I believe with the kingdom of God. As 1 Corinthians says, “We are one body”, and we are all interdependent members of that body. So when we see someone suffering or in need we cannot say “well that’s not my problem”. If we hear about a flood in Texas, we are called to help in any way we can. When we learn about a child suffering in a country far from us, we are called to help. When we see someone living on the street, we are called to help, in any way we can.
As for correcting one another, we are called to do it in love. Sometimes when we see someone’s actions are dangerous for themselves or for others, we may need to say something, in order to prevent something destructive from happening. But a good measuring stick we can use is to ask ourselves, if I say something, am I also willing to help that person? If the answer is no, it may be better to not say anything at all. So before you say something to someone else, a good exercise may be to do an examination of conscience first and ask yourself some tough questions first.
At every point though, even if the person rejects our advice, or the advice of the church community, we are called to speak in love and compassion for the other person. That command doesn’t change, no matter what.
God bless you all
Deacon Dan MacDonald