One Body, Many Parts

A reflection by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB

If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.” …If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

1 Corinthians 12:17-26, abridged
Praying in our Chapel

In Chapter 60 of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict we hear the words, “…friend, for what have you come?” (Rule 60.3).  That is something we should always keep in mind.  Paul knew that his mission was not to baptize, but to preach (cf. 1 Cor. 1:17).  Baptizing is so important, but he knew that wasn’t what he was called to baptize.  He was called specifically to preach the gospel.  There were others to do the baptizing.  Even Jesus clarifies that He wasn’t on earth to do everything, but specific things.  And we have that also in the Church, where we are all called to different vocations (religious life, married life, single life, the priesthood); and there are religious orders to cover every area of service—those to help the poor, those who care for the sick, teachers, missionaries—you name it, the Church has it.  And we as Benedictines are called to seek God continually, as the face of the Church running after Him.  Our part is to seek Christ sincerely, with a great deal of love, calling out to Him, “Stay with us!” on behalf of the Church.  There are specific things we are each called to do—what a gift that the Benedictine’s is to seek God.  We give thanks that there are other people doing their parts to make up for what we lack.  Through our lives of prayer, we are included in their works, because we are all part of the same Body of Christ, His Church.