Finding My Part in the Body of Christ

This reflection is part of our 2020 Lent Guide: Becoming Spirit-Filled Voters.

Throughout my career, I have been called to respond to different challenges at different times. Our country is facing an enormous challenge right now — one we are all called to respond to. New policies and programs are announced every day that increase suffering and deny the dignity of families and individuals across the country. Too many of our elected representatives are out of touch with the reality of vulnerable communities and do not feel a sense of urgency to respond and meet their needs.

But, we can succeed in making change if we first know our part, and then do it!

One way I reflect on the work is by pondering Saint Paul’s writing to the Romans. In his letter (Romans 12:5 et seq.), we are called to realize that we are all joined in one body. We are called to do our part in the body with joy. This has led me to realize that I am called to think of myself, and all of us, as belonging to the body of Christ. This has also led me to know that different parts of the body have different functions to play. We are not all the same. And, a consequence of this insight is that everyone is important in the body, even if their part is different from my own.

Living out my faith has taught me to know that we, together in creation, are all one in our effort to live with integrity and embody justice.

Right now in my role at NETWORK, I’m not feet. I am not hands. I do not do direct service. Instead, I think my contribution at this moment is to be stomach acid. I help liberate energy. I stir people up. I travel the country, meeting people and groups and I help break down food (ideas, struggles, frustrations) to liberate energy. This gives those who are the hands and feet the energy and the ability to do their part.

What part in the body of Christ are you called to be?

Are you the hands, doing the work of justice?
Are you the heart, praying for change?
Are you the mouth, speaking truth to power?
Are you the ears, listening to the experience of others?

Think about what kind of work you enjoy doing, and what is needed in our current environment. Reflect on where you feel most alive and most effective in working for change. Everyone has an important part to play in the body of Christ, even though we might have different functions. And no one is left out of the body of Christ… or out of our care.

What part of the body are you?

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS is the Executive Director of NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice.