Many of us have been told, “You look just like your mother, father, brother, sister, Aunt Edna.” Often we can’t see the likeness ourselves, but others are so sure. As an adopted child, I didn’t hear these words. I was never just like anyone. When I first met my birth mother, I was thrilled to discover that I looked like her, even sounded like her. It was soon obvious that we had many of the same personality traits. My half-sister told me when I visited her in hospital that she felt as if Mom (who lived far away) had walked into the room to be with her. I felt I belonged, really belonged, as never before.
In the Bible, St. Paul talks about how our goal as Christians is to be the body of Christ, to reflect Jesus – as individuals and as a group. He didn’t mean that we would all look like Jesus the way I look like my birth Mom. St. Paul is telling us that we need to be the presence of Jesus in the world today. That feels like an impossible task.
And yet, when we think about it we know we are actually doing it now and then. Every time we live God’s love for others, accepting people regardless of race, economics or religion, we are being Jesus in the world today. With every letter written to an M.P., every step in a march protesting injustice, every act of kindness and forgiveness, we are reflecting the love of Jesus, we are being Jesus in this world.
Of course there will be times when we fail, when we’re too tired, too upset, too busy, but as we practice being Jesus in this world we will be surprised at how often we bring Jesus, reflect Jesus, are Jesus for those we love as well as for strangers. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 2 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 2We will know that we belong to God. We can be grateful.