On this 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, it is worth considering the second reading from 1 Corinthians 12. There Paul uses his signature metaphor: body of Christ. We Catholics are Eucharistic Christians, but unfortunately we often think first only of the consecrated host as the body of Christ. In Paul’s day, the Eucharistic ritual was not fully developed. Instead the belief was that when the community gathered, remembered the Lord and prayed, the risen Lord became present in the gathering, and the bread was broken as a way of expressing and taking in that presence. So the body of Christ in bread and the body of Christ in the people were one. St. Augustine, who died in 430 A.D., is famous for telling his flock to receive who you are, become who you receive. Over the centuries, unfortunately, we lost the sense of our holiness as the people that Eucharist creates. Vatican II (1961-65) began restoring this appreciation by speaking of the holiness of the people of God. It is still difficult for many of us consistently to see our brothers and sisters as holy, as the body of Christ. Of course that does not mean the body is sinless. It does mean that Christ has taken this real body for his own.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia