“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” – Mahatma Gandhi
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1 Corinthians 12:12, 27
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.
St. Paul is trying to explain the profound unity we share in.
Though it appears we are separate, as we see ourselves in our physical bodies, we are in reality part of one mystical body that he calls “Christ.”
This is clearly not the exact same thing as “Jesus of Nazareth.”
It’s the larger Christ, the resurrected, universal Christ.
Paul knows that we are all part of a larger whole, the body of Christ, although we retain our individuality.
In the Christian tradition, the Eucharist is Jesus’s body given to us for the life of the world.
When we receive it, we are to become his body and give ourselves over for the life of the world.
What we must do is see beyond the delusion that we are not of one body.
When we look at someone who looks different than us, acts different than us, or believes different things than us, we are called to see beyond these surface differences to the true unity in the depths of our being.
This is how Jesus can command us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44) – because we truly are one.
God wants us to come together, to work for unity.
The only way to do this is by leaving our comfort zones, connecting with those we’d rather not, listening to the “other” and forging new relationships.
This is what Christ calls us to do.
It requires courage, action and humility.
Each of us needs to ask ourselves: How am I doing with this?
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Remember: God loves you!