1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31a
Today's first reading strikes me as a celebration of who we are to the Church like no other.
Each of us can probably think back to times in our lives when we felt unimportant or unneeded; perhaps our insecurities brought our self-worth into question and we wanted to simply fade away into the background and let others step in for us.
But today's reading is a clarion call to each of us to treasure our participation and importance in the Church, in the living body of Christ, no matter what our gift is. We are enthusiastically invited to "drink of one Spirit" even while sharing our unique talents--from the gift of prophecy to an ability to teach to a talent for administration.
The incredible human body that God gives us is rich in its diverse abilities and functions. From a single cell to the complexity of our brain, nothing is wasted; no part is useless; every particle of our being has value to the whole. The living Body of Christ, into which we have been baptized, is similarly rich and diverse and complex-an amazing sum of its many parts that includes you and me.
Today we celebrate St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian, both powerful men of the early Church. Their contributions to the body of Christ are different than ours will be, of course, but St. Cyprian echoes the words of today's reading: "God is one and Christ is one, and his Church is one; one is the faith, and one is the people cemented together by harmony into the strong unity of a body."
Perhaps today we can remember how blessed we are to be so uniquely important to the Church while also experiencing the beautiful unity that is the Body of Christ.
Nancy Nickel is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.