Paul and Augustine on the Eucharist:
40. The Eucharist creates communion and fosters communion. Saint Paul wrote to the faithful of Corinth explaining how their divisions, reflected in their Eucharistic gatherings, contradicted what they were celebrating, the Lord’s Supper. The Apostle then urged them to reflect on the true reality of the Eucharist in order to return to the spirit of fraternal communion (cf. 1 Cor 11:17- 34). Saint Augustine effectively echoed this call when, in recalling the Apostle’s words: “You are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor 12: 27), he went on to say: “If you are his body and members of him, then you will find set on the Lord’s table your own mystery. Yes, you receive your own mystery”. (Sermo272: PL 38, 1247) And from this observation he concludes: “Christ the Lord… hallowed at his table the mystery of our peace and unity. Whoever receives the mystery of unity without preserving the bonds of peace receives not a mystery for his benefit but evidence against himself”. (Sermo272: PL 38, 1248)
If the Eucharist “creates” Communion, could the following be surfaced: that under careful circumstances, intercommunion could be permitted as a means of invoking God to inspire greater unity among Christians, and as a locus for believers to open themselves to God’s unifying grace?
Unity is a spiritual gift, something of God, not something manufactured by human effort. People cooperate with unity; they don’t build it.
Are separated Christians not members of the Body? Baptism defines membership.
Are there circumstances where the Eucharist not shared is “evidence” against us?