A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body; and so it is with Christ. It was in one Spirit that all of us, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, were baptized into one body. All of us have been given to drink of the one Spirit. Now the body is not one member, it is many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” would it then no longer belong to the body? If the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I
do not belong to the body,” would it then no longer belong to the body? If the body were all eye, what would happen to our hearing? If it were all ear, what would happen to our sense of smell? Instead of that, God put all the separate parts into the body on purpose. If all the members were alike, where would the body be?
They are, indeed, many different members, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” any more than the head can say to the feet, “I do not need you.” Even those members of the body which seem less important are in fact indispensable. We honor the members we consider less honorable by clothing them with greater care, thus bestowing on the less presentable a propriety which the more presentable already have. God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to the lowly members, that there may be no dissension in the body, but that all the members may be concerned for one another. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is
honored, all the members share its joy.
You, then, are the body of Christ. Every one of you is a member of it. Furthermore, God has set up in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, healers, assistants,
administrators, and those who speak in tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles or have the gift of healing? Do all speak in tongues, all have the gift of interpretation of tongues?
The Word of God recorded in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.