Finding Your Role in the Body of Christ

Posted: 2/11/2013

Pat McEntee, associate vocation director, GlenmaryPat McEntee, Associate Vocation Director

"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."—1 Cor 12:12

A few weeks ago, this Scripture passage was part of the second reading at Mass, and my ears perked up when I heard it proclaimed. It is my favorite Bible verse because it reminds us that every person has tremendous value and purpose in this life. We are all created as equals in the eyes of God. However, that does not in any way limit our ability or need to be unique. In fact, it urges us to be outstanding.

A hand shouldn't be just a hand. A hand should do what it is supposed to do to the best of its ability. Each member of a human body is designed for a specific purpose. It is required to achieve that purpose well. If it does not perform the tasks required of it, the rest of the body can suffer. Another part may have to compensate for the failure of one member. In the same way, each member of the Body of Christ is designed for a specific purpose, too.

As babies, our world is full of wonder and discovery while we figure out the parts of the body and how they work. As most parents can tell you, these discoveries are made very quickly and the use of the parts becomes second nature. We quickly learn how to walk and talk and ultimately become independent of our parents. Tasks that were once impossible become second nature because we practice them over and over. We eventually master the use of the various parts of our body.

As members of the Body of Christ from baptism, we spend much of our lives discovering what role we play within that Body and work to master the functions that come with our role.

It seems simpler to discover how our own bodies work. As infants, our minds are like sponges absorbing information by observing others. As young Catholics, we absorb the Word of God and strive to understand the message God is trying to send us. This is where each person's uniqueness comes into play.

The Word of God is so vast that each individual processes it in a slightly different way. Ultimately, each person takes what is planted within him or her and carries it out in the way God intended.

Each is meant to go through a period of discovery to find the best way to be a member of the Body of Christ. This process is called discernment. Some are great thinkers. Some are great leaders. Some are great workers. Some are great consolers. The list could go on and on. Some people have gifts that qualify them to be great priests, brothers or sisters. Many different gifts are needed in these individuals, because they are the ones who help guide the rest of the faithful to discover and develop their own gifts for use as parts of the Body of Christ.

What are your gifts? How can you use them to contribute to the Body of Christ? Is becoming a member of Glenmary Home Missioners the best way to give greatest glory to the "Body part" you are? You can find out by experiencing Glenmary life for yourself. A great way to learn more about us is to arrange a visit to one or more of our missions—either as an individual or as part of one of several "Come & See" trips Glenmary's vocation office sponsors each year. If you'd like to schedule a visit, contact us today at 513-881-7410 to make the arrangements.