September 12, 2020

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16).

Paul is dealing here with the question of eating meat sacrificed to idols, which was often sold in the meat markets, and using our Eucharists as a means of reproving such behavior. It is possible to take this quotation out of context, however, to make a key point in regard to the Eucharist itself. This passage is similar to the description of the institution of the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Paul is not writing there to tell us anything about the institution of the Eucharist, but about what this should mean for the quality of Christian life.

Paul completes the quotation we have today by adding that “because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” This could be translated more literally as, “because there is one bread, we, the many, are one body, for we all share in one and the same bread.” Joining in the Lord’s Supper is not only to profess adoring gratitude to Jesus for his salvation. It unites all of us who receive as closely as the grains of wheat in one loaf of bread, or as all the members of the human body. We are not only united to Jesus, but to one another. This is why we stand during the communion procession. We do so because we celebrate not only our union with Christ, but because of the fellowship we have with one another through him.

How can we deepen our appreciation for the depth of meaning in our Eucharists each day?

Let Us Pray:

O loving Jesus, help me to realize that I cannot really love you whom I receive unless I also love my brothers and sisters who share with me at the same altar.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.