One of my favorite activities to do with children and youth (and grownups) is to take brightly colored pieces of construction paper and tear them into smaller, odd-shaped pieces. On one piece, each child is to write their own name on one side. On the other side they write something they do to help other people. The children are then given a second piece of paper. On the second the write a family member’s name on one side and a way that they show love on the other. On third, fourth, fifth pieces and beyond, children write other names and other gifts, virtues, and talents. Finally, the little, odd-shaped pieces of paper of the entire group are assembled into the shape of a person – perhaps by taping the pieces to the wall of the room.
The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth telling them that “You are the Body of Christ.” It is a beautiful image. It calls each of us to recognize and give thanks for the gifts of our brothers and sisters. It calls each of us to give thanks for our sisters and brothers themselves. It reminds us how we, by God’s grace, are connected to one another in love.
Teresa of Avila reflected on this image saying: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
If you were to write your name on a small, odd-shaped piece of construction paper, what gift or talent would you write on the other side? If you were to write the name of a close friend, what gift or talent would you write on the other side? If you were to write the name of someone with whom you disagree, for what gift would you give thanks?
Friends, remember this day and every day that your and they are the Body of Christ!
Grace and Peace,