Fr. Groeschel: the only time St. Paul quotes Jesus

I attended a talk tonight by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Columbia.

He made an observation I’ve never heard or thought of before.

St. Paul is, of course, the first Christian theologian, with the possible exception of St. John. St. Paul’s letters do not discuss the life of Christ but reflect on the obligations of Christian living, eschatology, and the meaning of the Paschal Mystery.

St. Paul usually only discusses Christ’s life in terms of its meaning: the meaning of the incarnation, the meaning of the crucifixion, the meaning of the resurrection. . . .


There is one case where St. Paul quotes the words of Christ directly:

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus,
on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in
remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper,
saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as
you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this
bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he
comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord
unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. (1 Cor

That is how important the Eucharist was in the minds of the Apostles themselves.

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