19
Sun, Jan

What occasioned the remembrance were the abuses during Eucharistic celebration of the Corinthian Christians. In the gathering and meal before “the eating of the bread and the sharing of the cup” as the remembrance of the Lord’s death, richer members came early and ate and drank copiously, leaving much scantier fare for the poorer people. Paul sees this as a betrayal of the memorial of the Lord’s death. The abuse is contrary to the spirit of self-giving seen in the death of Jesus. Paul sees the abuse as contempt and lack of love for the poorer members of the Church.

Paul then warns the Corinthians about celebrating the Eucharist without “discerning the body” which invites judgment on them (1 Cor 11:29). “Body” here may stand for “the body [and blood] of the crucified Lord” and so they eat unworthily who do not recognize the spiritual food offered to them. “Body” may also stand for “the church” and here Paul is saying that the Corinthians failed to recognize that the people gathered for the Lord’s Supper, especially the poor, must be treated in Christian love.