Today’s first reading in which Paul extols the greatness of charity follows on yesterday’s passage in which he spoke of all of us as being members of the Body of Christ. That beautiful teaching tells us that when Jesus physically left this world he asked his believers to take his place. Paul speaks of how taken together we are Christ still alive in the world. We are Christ’s Mystical Body, sent forth to continue Christ’s work in this world.
For you to accomplish any task, the parts of your body must work as a unit. I don’t know if you ever chop wood, but if you were to try it, your legs would need to plant themselves solidly. Your hands would need to come together in a firm grasp. Your eyes would need to stay alert; and all these parts would need to work together for a harmonious swing that sent the chips flying.
So, all of us members of Christ’s Mystical Body must work together harmoniously for us to continue doing Christ’s work on earth. If you see anyone as a rival, and there is jealousy or ill will between you, you cannot function together as parts of the Mystical Body of Christ. You might try regarding yourselves as Christ’s two hands. Remember that one hand is never in contest with the other. If one hand itches the other hand scratches that itch.
Following on yesterday’s reading, calls on all of us members of Christ’s Mystical Body to cultivate a love that “does not seek its own interests, is not quick tempered, does not brood over injury, does not rejoice over wrongdoing.”