This year, the Third Sunday in the Ordinary Time brings us this lovely second reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12…
But have we ever really “entered” this amazing metaphor St Paul is using, the metaphor of the Body? Here is a little activity that may help you explore the image with your group of catechumens, or even neophytes!
(It is important that the Leader would have done this exercise him/herself before leading the group.)
- Discuss or introduce the concept of the Body of Christ in your own words.
- Invite the participants to listen attentively to the reading and allow images, thoughts or words emerge with regards to “their” own place in Christ’s Body – DURING, but especially in the time of silence AFTER, the reading. Stress that at this moment, the “gut” reaction, the spontaneous emergence of a “body part”, is important, not a logical deduction or analysis. All of that will come later… Suggest to the participants that they do not need to limit themselves to the Body parts mentioned by St Paul; invite them to allow anything as big or as small as they need to emerge, including body parts, organs, tissues, cells, chemicals, etc…
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 slowly. Allow some time of silence afterwards for the words to sink in and images to emerge. Hand out (or ask them to use previously distributed) papers with a question: Which part of the Body of Christ am I? and an outline of a human body underneath. Suggests to your group that they can write, scribble, doodle or draw if it helps them to answer the question, but the point is to answer the question spontaneously, without much thinking about the reasons why and origins of the image first. Allow as much silence afterwards as your group needs or feels comfortable with . You may play some soothing music without lyrics as a background help if your group is not used to much silence yet.
- Read the reading slowly once again.
- Invite pairs to compare and discuss their own discoveries as to their respective places in the Body of Christ.
- Invite whole-group feedback. If there is time and/or not too many participants, you may want to ask people to colour in “their” place in Christ’s Body on a large outline of a human body as a part of their feedback so that the group gets a “visual” sense of the diversity of the answers in the room. Do not force anyone to share if they do not want to or have no idea yet as to where they fit. Invite them instead to keep praying about it between now and the next meeting.
- Invite each participant to think about a question What does this mean for me in practical terms? (this is the time for analysis!) either still in the session (if there is time) or during their moments of prayer between now and the next session. You can share the answers at the start of the next meeting.