I loved a picture meme I saw on I Cor 11:20-29…it sparked some thoughts.
This passage in I Corinthians can be easily glazed over simply because we hear it so often. Vs 20-22 imply that Communion is a unique ‘meal’, not one like we have hastily at home, without thought, stuffing oneself & getting drunk. I offer some questions to ponder [pull out your Bible]:
23 For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the LordJesus took some bread,
24 and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’
25 And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’
26 Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 Therefore anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
28 Everyone is to examine himself and only then eat of the bread or drink from the cup;
29 because a person who eats and drinks without recognising the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation.
1. Vs. 23…what did St. Paul receive?
2. Vs. 24 & 25…to what does the word ‘this’ refer?
3. Vs. 24 & 25…is ‘remembrance’ signifying that this act is merely symbolic, or is the act more significant and the remembrance is of Christ himself?
4. Vs. 26…if one insists that we serve the Risen Christ, why does St. Paul insist that our focus here should be on Christ’s death–until He comes again?
5. Vs. 27…how does a person receive the body and blood ‘unworthily’, becoming guilty before God? [HINT: it is in the next 2 verses]
6. Vs. 28…how does one ‘examine’ himself? What does one look for? [HINT: Vs. 28 is juxtaposed between the key thoughts of 27 & 29 for significance]
7. Vs. 29…what in the world is ‘not discerning the Lord’s body’ [HINT: if you haven’t figured this out, go back to the beginning, paying special attention to the word ‘is’ in Vs. 24 & 25]
8. Vs. 29…who is ready and willing to eat & drink damnation upon oneself simply because of refusing to closely examine the critical nugget of Truth in this passage?
9. And, finally, once this passage is clear, who is willing to simply receive crackers or bread chunks with juice, instead of the fully consecrated body and blood of Christ?
The only way to fully receive Christ is through the Eucharist. So for my non-Catholic readers, isn’t it time to give a closer consideration to the Church where that is possible? Come home to the Catholic Church!