We are many parts, but one body … connected to God

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By Jenna Ebener
A reflection

Lately, I have been asking God to show me ways I can connect to him more. I have been searching for more opportunities, such as small groups and retreats, but have had limited success finding things that seem to be what I need right now. I am grateful that God works in beautiful ways. One of his answers came in the form of showing me how, instead of adding more to my plate, I could build on something I already do — go to Mass.

I live alone and so am used to going to Mass by myself. While there is community at church, it is not the same as going with other people. However, I am so used to going alone that I had forgotten to seek people to attend with me. God has reminded me of this option in a beautiful way. Over the last three weekends, three separate people have asked if they could go to Mass with me. Each week, it has been a wonderful blessing as I share in the communion of Mass with people dear to me. God has reminded me that I am not as alone as I sometimes feel.

God has further reminded me of how important every one of us is as I paid particular attention to the musicians one weekend. It struck me to realize the necessity of each musician, even those simply playing a repeated beat of the same note. Each part is valuable to the output of the whole piece of music. Individually, their sounds may not make sense but together they form a beautiful harmony. It reminded me of St. Paul’s emphasis on how we, each of us, is an invaluable member of Christ’s body: “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body” (1 Corinthians 12: 18-20).

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God does nothing without reason or meaning. He has placed each of us in a specific time and location. I asked God to show me how to connect to him more and he brought people to remind me how I can connect with God through others. Even during our dark seasons, when we may question God’s purpose for us, he has a beautiful way of reminding us that we are already acting out the particular plan he has laid down for us. All we have to do is place our trust in him and let things sit where they land. Easier said than done, but I have never regretted letting God take the lead. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

As we continue this season of thanksgiving, what parts of you are you particularly grateful for? What wonderfully unique gifts has God given to you? For we all have them, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

(Jenna Ebener, a graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, is a social worker at a school in Colorado for students with a combination of medical, cognitive and behavior disabilities. She relies on God every day to aid her on this wonderful, yet intense journey.)


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