The Body Of Christ Suffers When We Choose To Compare | Sunday Reflection January 23, 2022

by Catholic Bible Studies And Reflections, Faith & Life

1 Corinthians 12:12-30

Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Now the body is not a single part, but many.
If a foot should say,
“Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body, “
it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
Or if an ear should say,
“Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body, “
it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?
If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
But as it is, God placed the parts,
each one of them, in the body as he intended.
If they were all one part, where would the body be?
But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you, “
nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.”
Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker
are all the more necessary,
and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable
we surround with greater honor,
and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety,
whereas our more presentable parts do not need this.
But God has so constructed the body
as to give greater honor to a part that is without it,
so that there may be no division in the body,
but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it;
if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.
Some people God has designated in the church
to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers;
then, mighty deeds;
then gifts of healing, assistance, administration,
and varieties of tongues.
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?
Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing?
Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

What’s Your Role In The Body Of Christ?

Depending on when and where you are attending mass today, you will hear a longer or shorter version of St. Paul’s reflection on how we are many parts of the same body. There are many different lessons that we can take from this famous passage, but one that stood out to me as I was reading through it; the danger with comparison.

St. Paul writes that the body needs all of its different parts, with their different uses and functions, to be a whole and healthy body. If an ear thinks that because it is not an eye then it does not belong to the body, where would the sense of hearing be? One part should not be sad that it isn’t something else. This is a trap that all of us can fall into. We look at the life, gifts, and opportunities that other people have, and we wish that we had those same opportunities too. There is nothing wrong with admiring the way other people use their own giftedness, but it becomes a problem when it causes us to miss out on our own blessings. When we become focused on what we lack, we miss out on all we do have.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparison often has another bad side effect. If we neglect our own gifts and opportunities in favor of wishing for others, we deprive our whole community of them. If the eye refuses to see and instead chases after hearing, the body will be left blind. It is important to take time reflecting on just what gifts, opportunities, and experiences God has given us. First, so that we can be grateful for them and second, so that we can use them for the betterment of the body, the Church.

If you find yourself feeling dissatisfied with your own role in the body, consider asking God to show you your gifts and ask him how he wants you to use them. Pray for the heart to be truly grateful for both the gifts of others as well as your own! 


  1. Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others?
  2. List 3 of the gifts God has given you.
  3. How do you use these gifts for the Body of Christ?

This reflection originally appeared on:

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