Just as the body is one and has many members,
and all the members of the body, though many,
are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one
Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews
or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made
to drink of one Spirit.
from the First Letter to the Church in Corinth, Chap 12
Readings for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C
[ The full Readings for Epiphany III, Year C, RCL, can be found at
What to think about this Third Sunday after Epiphany? Unity … and cooperation.
Christians, like Buddhists and Muslims and most of the World’s profound religions, have a message not just for themselves, but for all of Humanity. That’s the way … I believe … “God” works. God is Life Itself …. and “God” is a useless concept unless God is at work in all of human culture revealing the Wisdom of Life. “Religion” is only worthy of respect of it teaches us how to make Life the most beautiful and compassionate it can be.
What Jesus did in the Temple today … reading the prophet Isaiah and saying that the Scripture had been fulfilled for the people listening on that day … is exactly what every Christian Church that has kept faith with Jesus will be doing today - sitting amongst the people of the World and saying that we human beings are “one”, that we work together each with our own character and gifts … as “eyes”, “ears”, “feet”, etc … to help every human being find our own most profound nature, and the Human Race it’s most profound nature, Being, and meaning.
The Writer says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”
We Americans value the individual. This is necessary … if we do not value our Self, we are not likely to be able to value God or our “neighbour”. But we need to remember: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”
Jesus preached that we are “one with God” as He was one with His Father. The World, the Human Community, is deeply fragmented. Today’s Gospel begs with us to see our oneness … and to commit ourselves to shaping that unity - and with that, peace, justice, compassion.