|EUCHARIST V - THE POWER OF THE EUCHARIST
|and my spirit is present,
with the power of our Lord Jesus,"
When you are "assembled",
Paul is speaking of the celebration of the
1 Cor 5:4b
|When you gather together for Mass! This is what I ask of you.
1 Cor 5:7 "Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are
unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.
8 Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and
evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
Dr. Scott Hahn says that expression right there; "celebrate the festival," refers to the early
This Letter of St. Paul's to the Corinthians is a pastoral response to problems in the church at
Paul covers many topics, as though he had a list. One topic is the exclusion of a man who is
Paul also talks of the Mass throughout this Letter. We have the verses that I just made
reference to. He also refers to the "Real Presence". We will come to that in a moment.
God tells us through St. Paul that there is no trial that you or I could suffer that is not common
to other believers!
1 Cor 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful,
and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also
provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
St. Paul goes on to tell us about the immeasurable POWER that we have to carry out God's
Will in our lives through the Grace given to us in the Holy Eucharist.
In 1 Cor 10:14-16
14 "Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols.
15 I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say.
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The
bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?"
Here we see Paul sharing with the believers at Corinth a sure "Truth".
We do not see him trying to convince anyone. He merely states that when the Corinthians,
"assemble as a church"
(1 Cor. 11:18), the "cup" they drink is "the blood of Christ" & the bread is "the body of Christ".
First Paul tells us that God gives us a way to handle every trial.
Then he speaks of the "Real Presence" in a kind of "matter of fact" attitude.
Of course, St. Paul is talking about a local problem of the time.
"To eat or not to eat", that is the question!
The Corinthians didn't know whether they could eat meat sacrificed to idols.
So, we see here in Paul's Letter a response to their questions.
But God speaking through Paul on a larger scale that crosses the centuries tells us that He
will give us a way through every trial.
In St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians he is relating a vision that he had years before.
2 Cor 12:6 "Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth.
But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.
7 And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given
me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships,
persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
Scripture never ceases to amaze me.
In this section alone we have so much truth.
Against the health and wealth Gospel!
"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions,
According to the "Health & Wealth" gospel, if things in your life are not "peachy" then you are
not "walking with God". This misinterpretation of Christ's Words to mankind suggests that if
your life is less than perfect you are either in deep unrepentant sin or you lack Faith. We can
see here that St. Paul embraced and sought after the very lifestyle that the Health & Wealth
St. Alphonsus Liguori said; "God would give him a trial or a test after he accomplished
something for the Lord, to keep him from being prideful."
"And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me
in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated."
We see that people who follow Christ are given "trials" that may make their life seem, from the
outside... cursed, but in fact are gifts from God to help them... "grow into salvation" 1 Peter
Repetitive Prayer - The Lord admonishes against "Vain Repetition". Notice He doesn't
admonish against "repetition, in and of itself... but actually VAIN repetition. Here we see St.
Paul repeating a prayer three times!
"Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;"
Back to my original point:
"My grace is sufficient for you,"
God's Grace given to us when we receive the Body & Blood of the Lord gives us sufficient
Grace to endure any temptation or trial!