Carli Lloyd’s hat trick in the first sixteen minutes of the World Cup finals last Sunday will go down in history. But what stuck with me most this week was the moment much later, with only about fifteen minutes left in the game and the victory already secured, that Abby Wambach came onto the field. Wambach is presumed to be retiring soon; this was probably her last World Cup. As Wambach took the field, Lloyd insisted on taking off the captain’s armband she’d been wearing and giving it to Wambach. Wambach protested, then accepted the band and wore it for the rest of the game. But when the game was over, Wambach passed the armband to Christie Rampone, the only player on the current squad who was also on the victorious 1999 World Cup team. Rampone wore the armband for the trophy presentation.

The World Cup victory was a result of exceptional teamwork among all the women on the squad, each bringing their particular talents to the field with the level of selflessness and humility expressed in that exchange of armbands. Each team member recognizes the gifts of the other, while also contributing her unique gifts to the effort. They support each other without hesitation, knowing they are all striving for the same result.

As members of the Church, we should be the same kind of team – striving without concern for self to attain a magnificent goal that lifts us all. In our case, that goal is to live as Jesus has requested, guided by love for Him and for each other. And our victory is eternal peace with God.

May we gladly team up to serve the Lord selflessly and humbly, offering our particular talents while recognizing and supporting the special talents of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

Romans 12:3-5