I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received

Ephesians 4:1

Scripture Reflection for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Deacon Jim Corder

Reading I: 2 Kings 4:42-44
Reading II: Ephesians 4:1-6
GOSPEL: John 6:1-15

3 Critical Ways to Live as a Christian

This weekend we hear the great gospel story of the multiplying of the loaves and fishes. Jesus plays the magician and is able to feed all of the people gathered with very little food. This is one of the stories that we hear every year at about this time. Every. Year. So just exactly what else can we hear or say about this great scripture story?

Okay, let’s look at this story in light of the second reading. Paul tells us that we should be “striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bonds of peace!” He also speaks very clearly on the idea that we are called to something bigger and better. What Paul is telling us is that we are called to live in the one Body of Christ.

How do we live as a member of the Body of Christ?

  1. Take our place in the body
  2. Respect the rest of the body
  3. Experience the body

Take our place as part of the body

From the time of our baptism, we have been called! From our experiences of Church and community, we have been called! Throughout our lives we have been, are being, and forever will be called to be part of the body of Christ. Do our actions or lack of actions suggest we are worthy of such a calling?

Respect the rest of the body

Paul tells us to bear with one another through love. We need to work on seeing the goodness within the rest of the members of the body. In love, let us work to build others up, rejoice with what is good, and hurt when others experience pain and suffering. Do we think of others and their needs before our own?

Experiencing the Body of Christ at Mass

Mass is when the body of Christ assembles. Like the people gathered in the gospel story today, we are given the opportunity to be fed by Christ. He uses very little (bread and wine) and yet sustains us with the spiritual food — His Body and His Blood.

The thing to understand is that the Mass is communal in nature. It is not a private prayer. If you pay attention, you will notice most of the prayers use plural language. We say things like: “We believe in one God… We stand in your presence Lord… Our Father… We go know in peace!”

The only private prayers are those that prepare us for the communal experience. An example would be “I confess to Almighty God. . .” This is to prepare our hearts for what we will be experiencing together.

It is important that we attend Mass, not just because you need to be present for your relationship with God, but also for our relationship with God. The community has the right to ask that you bring your gifts and talents — your part — to the rest of the Body of Christ.

How do you live as a member of the Body of Christ?

What are some things you can do to take your place in the Body of Christ?
What are some ways you can work on respecting other people?
Who is one person you need to work harder to love or respect?
Do you attend Mass? Have you ever gone to daily Mass? (Try it!)

Copyright 2003-2015 by Deacon Jim Corder
All rights reserved.