The healing body of Christ
It doesn’t take great powers of observation to realize we live in a wounded, sin-scarred world. Each one of us has been hurt by our own sinfulness and by the sins of others. Some wounds are superficial and heal with time. Others are so deep, we may think they can never heal.
The good news is that Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician, brings healing to our wounded world and our wounded hearts. The problem is that we often fail to ask for his healing, and we often fail to be agents of his healing.
Legatus member Dr. Phillip Madonia of Mobile, Ala., has devoted his life to being an agent of healing. Over the past 26 years, he has counseled hundreds of women contemplating abortion. The vast majority of them have opted to keep their babies. Madonia credits the Holy Spirit, to whom he prays fervently, for his success in saving the lives of these children — and also saving their mothers from committing a horrendous act they would regret for the rest of their lives.
What sets Madonia apart is not only the fact that he’s saved hundreds of lives, but that he is living in the Spirit and following the path the Lord has shown him. In his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul compares God’s people to Christ’s body. If one member is hurting, Christ himself suffers, and the Church, as the Body of Christ, also suffers. Like Madonia, we are all called to be agents of healing. We may not save live, but we are nonetheless called to build and heal the Body of Christ, his Church.
Saint Paul writes, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit” (1 Cor 12: 4-7).
In Baptism, we take the first step in a lifelong journey of discipleship. As we mature in our faith, we begin to understand how the Lord wants to use us to bring healing to his Church. You may have a simple gift like listening. Quite often, when a person is hurting, all they need is someone to be there for them, to listen as they pour out their heart. Your gift may be one of action — helping out at your parish’s ministry to the poor or planning a fundraising drive for a crisis pregnancy center.
Whatever your gifts, the world needs you, the Church needs you, Christ needs you. Unused gifts are squandered gifts. And at the end of our lives, when the Lord asks what we’ve done with our talents, let’s pray that our work for the Kingdom of God has borne much fruit.
Patrick Novecosky is the editor of Legatus Magazine.