“If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness”.

1 Cor 12: 26 GNB

“Baron Von Hugel, a great Catholic saint and scholar, pointed out that ‘no one is ever saved alone or by his own efforts’. Writing to his beloved niece about the costliness of intercession, he indicated that part of his own praying was to offer his own suffering from insomnia on her behalf. ‘I wonder’, he wrote, ‘whether you realize a deep, great fact? That souls – all human souls – are interconnected? that we can not only pray for each other, but suffer for each other. These long, trying wakings I was able to offer to God, to Christ for my child, that he might ever strengthen, sweeten, steady her in her true, simple, humble love and dependence upon him. Nothing is more real than this interconnection – this gracious power put by God himself into the very heart of our infirmities’” (Soldier’s Armoury, 1970, p118).

It is this same “interconnectedness” that Paul was referring to when he pointed to our solidarity in suffering and in joy when we become members one of another in the body of Christ. We are more than an unrelated group of individuals who happen to occupy opposite ends of the same pew on a Sunday morning. The interconnectedness happens because Christ is in the middle of it – we are united by his presence in all of us. He causes us to weep when others weep and to rejoice when they rejoice. We share in some way in each others’ joys and sorrows. This is what being a disciple of Jesus Christ is all about.


Lord, help me to be sensitive to others’ joys and pain.