Blood is one of the most important symbols in the Bible. Blood means life, and life belongs to God. Hence from the beginning men are not allowed to shed the blood of their fellow human beings since such dead action defiles them and casts them out of God’s presence and friendship.
Mindful of God’s dominion over all life, most especially human life, people of most religions have offered prayers and sacrifices to God in order to obtain His favour or to compensate dead actions. In the chosen people of Israel, this search for redemption and purification reaches its summit in Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant.
We read in the Letter to the Hebrews: “How much more effective the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God” (Heb. 9:14).
The blood of Christ has this power of redemption and purification because it is a blood shed out of perfect love for God and for humanity, a divine blood that brings the covenant to perfection, not only for Israel but for all people.
At the Last Supper, Jesus, after consecrating the bread into His Body, took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to his disciples saying, “This is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many” (Mk. 14:24). “Poured out for many” instead of “poured out for all” is a more faithful translation of the original text, but it does not mean to suggest that Jesus’ sacrifice for all people is somehow restricted. In fact, Christ’s unique sacrifice offers salvation to each and every human being. We do not know, nor do we have to know, whether some or many will refuse His grace in the end. However, we pray that God’s will for the salvation of all be fulfilled.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today on this Solemnity of Corpus Domini as a symbol of the universal Church, coming together from every corner of the earth to celebrate the memorial of the new and eternal covenant in the blood of Christ.
Our gathering is an act of faith in the Holy Eucharist, the treasure of the Church, which is essential to her life and to our communion as brothers and sisters in Christ. The Church draws her life from the Eucharist, she receives her own identity from the gift of Christ’s own Body. In communion with His Body, the Church becomes what she receives: she becomes one body with Him in the Spirit of the new and eternal covenant. What a great and marvellous mystery! A mystery of love!
Whispers has it all