In the discussion of the Communion without Baptism, at some point the discussion inevitably turns to—or at least towards—1 Cor 11:27-34:
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some of died. But if we have judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another–if any one is hungry, let him eat at home–lest you come together to be condemned. (RSV)
What exactly is Paul saying here? I think sometimes th first section is pulled out of context—but. Paul is connecting unworthy reception of the Eucharist to becoming ill and dying and to waiting for one another.
What I haven’t seen recently in the debate is a sufficient unpacking of this cluster of thoughts. What’s the connection between reception and death? Paul is being allusive here. Is he alluding to a supernatural punishment for those who eat and drink unworthily? Is he alluding to a social problem in the community where some are sick and weak from lack of food and Paul is complaining that the social & ecclesial dimensions of the Eucharistic feeding are being lost?
How do you read what’s going on here?