Lectionary Reflection for October 28, 2012: “Christ Has No Body… But Yours”

Lectionary Readings:

  • Jeremiah 31: 7-9. Jeremiah announces the return of the northern tribes, exiled in their pitiable condition by the Assyrians.
  • Hebrews 5:1-6. Priests should deal patiently with erring sinners for they themselves are beset by weakness and must make sin offerings for themselves.
  • Mark 10:46-52. Jesus cures the blind man Bartimaeus, declaring “Your faith has healed you.”

Thoughts for your consideration:
St. Theresa of Avila gave us a powerful prayer that reminds us of how we share in the ministry of Christ, the prayer is called “Christ has no body but your,” here is an excerpt:

“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,

The readings for this week describe for us the ministry of reconciliation and healing. In the first reading we hear from the prophet Jeremiah on how God is prepared to bring reconciliation and healing to the oppressed and vanquished tribes of Israel. The second reading and the Gospel passage tells us how the emerging priesthood and specifically Jesus as our High Priest are actualizing this ministry in the world. On a sacramental level it is the functions of the priest to be the ones that bring about the grace of reconciliation and healing through the Mass and the sacraments. But as St. Theresa of Avila reminds us in her famous prayer above we are all called to share in this ministry in a broader way. The second Vatican Council affirms this message in their document on the laity.

The laity derives the right and duty to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself. They are consecrated for the royal priesthood and the holy people (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-10) not only that they may offer spiritual sacrifices in everything they do but also that they may witness to Christ throughout the world. (Apostolicam Actuasitatem #3)

The readings and the prayer of St. Theresa of Avila invite us to engage in this ministry where we can console the suffering and patiently journey with the vulnerable and marginalized members of our community. Jesus demonstrates an ethic of compassion as he freely offers healing and reconciliation to those that seek it. We are now part of the Body of Christ and so we “are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.” Through parish social ministry our parishes grant us the opportunity to partake in this ministry of reconciliation and healing. Our church encourages us to share in our “witness to Christ throughout the world” and we very much invite our parish community to engage in this noble ministry.

 

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About jdgonzo73

I am a Catholic lay minister in the field of Christian ethics, Latino theology and Paulacrucian spirituality. I am currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Fordham, an ad-junct professor at Molloy College and St. John's University and the Project Coordinator with the Catholic Roundtable.
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