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Overcoming Divisive Behaviour

An attempt to interpret 1Cor 11, 17-34 from another perspective

Series:

John Inziku

The main reason why Paul cannot praise the Corinthians is indicated in 11:17, 18, 20: there is a separation of some rich members from the community during the love meals. It is not divisions as a «formal split». It is not that they eat beforehand, but the rich take out (only for themselves) their own food. This lack of love during the love meals contradicts the love celebrated sacramentally in the Eucharist and leads to the effect that those people are spiritually weakened. Paul does not threaten with death or last judgement. There is a play on the word «Body» in both Eucharistic and Ecclesiological sense. The problem can be overcome if the community becomes aware of itself as the body of Christ. To respond to this problem the apostle draws upon the Lord’s Supper tradition as a paradigm that stresses the sacrificial aspect: a believer is identified by his or her conformity to the self-surrender and sacrificial love for the others that marked the pattern of Jesus’ death.
The Author: John Inziku, born in Maracha in 1960, is a Catholic Priest of Arua Diocese (Uganda). He obtained a Diploma in Philosophy (1988) from Alokolum National Major Seminary, Gulu; Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy (1989) from Urbaniana University, Rome; Diploma in Theological and Pastoral Studies (1992) from St. Mary’s National Seminary Ggaba, Kampala, and a Degree of Bachelor of Divinity (1993) from Makerere University, Kampala (Uganda). After serving for three years as Parish Priest and one year as Vice Rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Minor Seminary, he started doctoral studies in New Testament Exegesis (especially the Pauline letters) at the Jesuit Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main (Germany) in 1998, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Theology in 2005.