Being part of the Body of Christ

Saint Paul used imagery, easily understood by everyone reading or hearing his letter, when explaining the relationship between Christ and the members of the Church (the Body of Christ) to the Corinthians.

Saint Paul used imagery, easily understood by everyone reading or hearing his letter, when explaining the relationship between Christ and the members of the Church (the Body of Christ) to the Corinthians.

He compared the Church to the human body and, using the image of the body, described the intricacies of the various relationships within the Church.

We all understand that, to work properly, the human body has been designed in a particular way.  When one part of our body is unwell or not working properly, we do not feel well or we cannot do things so easily. Even a simple scalding when we have an accident with hot water, for example, can make it awkward for us to use our hand properly. A slightly painful twisted ankle can be very debilitating.  

People often say things like “You don’t appreciate your health until you don’t have it”, even when referring to simple ailments or handicaps.  Saint Paul, of course, knew this and used this information to help his readers understand the nature and purpose of the Church and their own part in it.

For example, Paul argued that “just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink. Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts.”

Full storyin this week’s Tipperary Star.