The following is from wth3 as a comment in the last post (Thank you!). This writer really keyed in on the image of the Church as the Body of Christ and the blessing that the many varied gifts/charism are to the right functioning of the Church. After reading his one, consider some other images of the Church: the Bride of Christ, the Sacrament of Salvation, and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps someone would like to share the impact one of these images has for you….
Lumen gentium’s perspective of the church underscores Jesus’ life as teacher/servant and serves as the model for Church ministry. The new mission for the Church, therefore, is to implement the new view and catechize the faithful into what that looks like for the ministry of every Catholic. The baptismal call to act is for every Catholic Christian in the mission of the Church and is to be modeled on these new revelations. Lumen gentium reminds us of the description by St. Paul to all the faithful, that we are the Body of Christ. The diversity of each person and their function in the service of the Church is necessary for the growth and unity of the Church. Jesus is the head of the body and all members must be “formed in his likeness” (Lumen gentium, 7). The sacraments afford the grace from the Holy Spirit necessary to carry out the priestly, prophetic and kingly mission to which we all are called. The importance of reception of the sacraments is instrumental to the life of the Church. “The sacred nature and organic structure of the priestly, prophetic and kingly community is brought into operation through the sacraments and the exercises of virtues (Lumen gentium, 21).” It is clear that the bishops hold this truth as constitutive to our faith and the faithful. I am still overwhelmed by the level of commitment and faith by priests, deacons and, most importantly, the people in the pews. The role of the priest operating in persona Christi capitas, in the person of Christ the head, is his primary role and all due respect should be directed to this function. “. . . it is above all in the Eucharistic worship or assembly of the faithful that they (presbyters) exercise their priestly function (Lumen gentium, 21).” The impact of the recognition of our unique charisms and gifts are behind all ministries but it is the charism of leadership that is common to those who are called to service.