Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings Jan. 24, 2016

"Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it." -- 1 Corinthians 12:27

“Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.” — 1 Corinthians 12:27


Jan. 24, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

      Cycle C. Readings:

      1) Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10

      Psalm: 19:8-10, 15

      2) 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 or 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27

      Gospel: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21


By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

In Luke’s Gospel for this weekend, Jesus rises in the temple to read from the Book of Isaiah, where he proclaims that the poor will have glad tidings brought to them, a year of liberty would be proclaimed to the captives, recovery of sight given to the blind, and the oppressed would be set free.

Jesus sits again, and with all eyes in the synagogue intently on him, says, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

We have the specifics outlined in the rest of the Gospels, as we see Jesus walking about performing wonders, healing the ill and proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God, which he embodies, to rich and poor alike.

But building the kingdom doesn’t stop there. Paul, speaking to the Corinthians, addresses many of the dimensions of Jesus enfleshed in his people, his body. Paul emphasizes that all of us do not engage in the same manifestations of the Spirit: “The body is not a single part, but many,” he says.

That truth remains to this day. When I see Jesus in those I encounter, I see various manifestations of the body.

The young woman behind the deli counter at the grocery store has a smile and a presence that clearly identifies her as a believer. She confirms it when I ask her if she is a Christian and what church she attends.

My two colleagues from the Catholic press with whom I recently toured the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington are proclaimers of the Gospel. I know them both by their functions within the body and by their behavior across the years. They are servant leaders within the body of Christ.

My wife, whose compassion extends beyond her family and colleagues to generously embrace the immigrants and refugees she teaches, shows the healing power of love that endures. Would any of these alone show forth all the complexity of Christ’s body? It’s not necessary. It takes all of us as church to bring Christ’s presence into the world.


All parts of the body of Christ are essential. How do you make his presence manifest to those around you?

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