Paul and the Eucharist
As this Year of Paul closes, the most appropriate place to end it is at the table of the Lord. In the earliest account of the Last Supper, Paul reminded the Corinthians that he received from the Lord the sacred tradition that Jesus took bread, gave thanks (the Greek word is eucharisteo), broke it and said, “This is my body. Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:23-24). Paul recalled this eucharistic meal because those gathering for the sacred rite were using it in a divisive fashion. The sign of Christian unity had turned into an occasion for social discrimination. “Your meetings,” Paul said, “are doing more harm than good” (1 Cor 11:17). Paul said it nearly 2,000 years ago: “Make every effort to preserve the unity of spirit through a bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). That would be the best way to honor Saint Paul.