Lecture No. 12: July 2014


We Are The Blood Of This Body

Jim Russell, Lecturer
Jim Russell, Lecturer

[dropcaps]M[/dropcaps]y first lecture was given one year ago. In that first lecture, I mentioned the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, which started 151 years ago today. So you guys probably expect me to say something about our Independence Day celebration that’s coming up. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m saving that for September.

Last Saturday, Deacon Paul Wood gave the homily at the 5:30 Mass. Deacon Paul’s talk was interesting to me because I heard him repeat what I had said in here previously, that the congregation is the church, not the building. He went on to say that we are church not only when we come together to worship at Mass but that we are church every day, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Depending upon your point of view, I do some of my best or worst thinking in the wee hours of the morning. And so it was early Sunday morning, about 1:30 I think, that the thought occurred to me that the church is really the body of Christ on earth. Now, Deacon Paul may have said that. I usually have a short attention span when it comes to the homily. In fact, years ago I told one of our deacons that if he happened to look over at the choir during the 10 o’clock Mass at that time and saw me dozing off it was time to move on to the creed.

I know all of you have had a course in biology, at least in high school. In my biology class, we learned that the human body is composed of cells. These cells are grouped together to form various systems. Within these systems are organs that perform various functions to keep the body alive and well.

I can visualize an analogy between a human body and the church as the body of Christ. I recall looking over the congregation and recognize the fact that each member is similar to a cell. We’re all independent of each other, but we all function together.

As a whole, we form what those outside the church see as the church. Within the body, we join together to participate in various organizations that perform specific functions that keep the church functioning and healthy. The office staff could be considered the heart, pumping information and keeping everything working. Our priests and deacons could be the brain. They give us direction, and they keep us on the path of faith.

Other organizations within the church also perform functions that keep the church healthy and functioning. Faith formation educates our children so they can become useful members of the body of Christ. The adult faith formation classes improve the spiritual health of our adult members. ACTS performs a similar function in a different way. In fact, every organization within this body or church performs some function that contributes in some way to the general well being of the whole.

So where do the Knights fit in? What do we do to keep this body healthy and functioning?

I would suggest that we are the blood of this body. Through our works, we nourish the other organizations and keep the whole body functioning. We are not alone. Other organizations also perform functions similar to what we do. But because of our size and our dedication, we carry most of the load.



As a group, we contribute both time and money in support of the other organizations. We do pancake breakfasts, Lenten fish fries. We set up and take down tents and booths and tables for various parish activities. We do the cooking and the serving for other activities. And, as individuals, we serve as ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, choir members, altar servers, teachers and so on.

Knights having fun while serving at the concession stand at Valley Ridge ParkNow, don’t misunderstand me. If Council 8157 did not exist, the parish would not collapse. Things would continue to be done because most of us would be in there doing them. But I question if they would continue at the level that they do now. And the money would pretty much dry up. I doubt that many of us would be out at the ball field concession stands for four to six hours a shift as individuals.

It is all right to take pride in what we do for our parish, but we need to be careful not to become boastful. As members of the body of Christ, we are called to emulate His teachings. He stood before the multitude and spoke of the kingdom. He said blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God. And blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

Brothers, remember that we are called to serve.