Summary: "One Bread, One Cup"

Carl A. Boyle, a sales representative, was driving home when he saw a group of young children selling Kool-Aid on a corner in his neighborhood. They had posted the typical hand-scrawled sign over their stand: “Kool-Aid, 75 cents.”

Carl was intrigued. He pulled over to the curb. A young man approached and asked if he would like strawberry or grape Kool-Aid.

Carl placed his order and handed the boy a dollar. After much deliberation, the children determined he had some change coming and rifled through the cigar box until they finally came up with the correct amount.

The boy returned with the change, then stood by the side of the car. He asked if Carl was finished drinking.

“Just about,” said Carl. “Why?”

“That’s the only cup we have,” answered the boy, “and we need it to stay in business.”

"One Bread, One Cup" comes from 1 Cor. 10:16ff “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”

In other words, by koinonia or communion Saint Paul teaches a real material participation in the real body and blood of Christ.

The term koinonia in the Eucharistic text 1 Cor. 10:16-21 expresses one of the most profound mysteries of Christianity: real participation in the body and blood of Christ.

It seems that the Apostle wished the Corinthians, and us, to understand that though the Eucharistic rite which is externally a visible and material rite, in its effects it influences the soul in the spiritual and moral order.

This is the sense in which it is "spiritual food and drink", and this also is the reason why in Chapter Eleven when Saint Paul takes up this line of thought again he says (11:27) "that a man should examine himself lest he eat and drink judgment to himself by failing to distinguish this from ordinary food."

We may say then, that koinonia is real communion in the Body and Blood of Christ which is a participation in the fruits of the Redemption through the sacrifice of the Cross.

It is real reiteration of the sacrifice of the Cross. It realizes this reiteration not simply by the way of subjective commemoration, but also by way of objective sacramental renewal.

The sacrifice which we offer, says Saint Cyprian, is the Passion of the Lord, which the sacramental words and rites represent and render present.

St. Peter Julian Eymard said, “Happy is the soul that knows how to find Jesus in the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in all things!”

We can find inspiration for Eucharistic living as per St. Peter Eymard at the consecration during the Mass,

“This is my Body, which will be given up for you.”

At Communion time, the priest or Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion says “The Body of Christ.” The communicant replies: Amen

And “receives” the Eucharist.

The Eucharist can teach us to learn the language of “to give...will be given” and “to receive”, rather than “I want”, “I need” , “I must have.”

In the consecration of wine in the chalice into the Blood of Christ, we hear, “Which will be poured out for you and for many.”...

We learn here the language of vulnerable loving, losing and finding ourselves in the process. Evading this, we only keep back for ourselves with such determination and resolve which set us apart from a deeper Communion with him.

Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé, founder of the Trappist

Cistercians, gave conferences on sacraments as channels of grace. He preached that we all called to receive the bread of angels as often as we can. He was dealing with a school of thought which argued that Holy Communion should be received infrequently so as to wait until one has an absolutely perfect pure love for God with much virtue. Rance’s reply to this was to say that this is the goal to which we strive to acquire, but it is not a requirement to approach the altar. He quotes Ambrose of Milan, “Receive every day what can benefit you every day; live in such a way that nothing you do may make you unworthy to receive it.”

Rance also notes that Scripture is explicitly clear in the words of St. Paul in 1 Cor. That God will punish those who approach the Sacrament unworthily, with the stain of unconfessed mortal sin in their souls, but he will also not be pleased with those who absent themselves from it through “the false excuses of an ill-regulated piety.” To absent oneself from the Eucharist is to absent oneself from God, since the Eucharist is Jesus Christ, and He is abundantly clear that we are to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

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