THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2017
ONE BREAD, ONE BODY
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 11:17-33
The greatest manifestation of unity in the body is when members
of the body partake of the one body of Christ, and that is
in the Eucharist. To be worthy to participate in the Eucharistic
meal, we must be one in mind and heart, conformed to Christ.
that is often not the case. Among the people of God receiving
holy Communion, there are resentments, animosities, strife,
factions, division. “First of all, I hear that when
you meet as a church there are divisions among you”
(v.18a). These divisions are brought into the celebration
of the Mass, with opposing Catholics even seated just pews
apart. They are physically present at Mass, but not grasping
the spirit ad essence of the Mass. “When you meet in
one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord’s supper”
brings us back to that great manifestation of unity, which
is the Eucharist. “For I received from the Lord what
I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night
he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.’” (v.23-24). Jesus
takes the bread, which is his body soon to be broken, and
offers it as a symbol not of division but of unity.
we partake of holy Communion, Jesus reminds us of what he
did for us, how he offered himself for our salvation, and
how we must look forward to the life that is to come. “For
as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim
the death of the Lord until he comes.” (v.26). At the
end of the Mass we are sent off, to share Christ with everyone,
to bring his salvation to all. We can only do so effectively
if we are united as brethren, co-workers and comrades-in-arms.
must consider all these whenever we celebrate the Eucharist.
Otherwise, thinking we are doing well by attending Mass, we
might actually be bringing condemnation upon ourselves. “Therefore
whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily
will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.”
(v.27). We must search our hearts and discern our situation.
“A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread
and drink the cup.” (v.28). This includes seeing the
imperative for unity that is a hallmark of the Eucharistic
sacrifice. Otherwise we will be judged severely. “For
anyone who eats and drinks without discerning to body, eats
and drinks judgment on himself.” (v.29).
Eucharist is a great prod to unity, if only we truly understood