The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
You can find today’s readings here.
1st Reading: Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm: Psalm 116
2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
In today’s first reading, Moses shares the commandments of the Lord with the Israelites. They respond with a resounding “YES” to God. “We will do everything that the LORD has told us.” Sacrifices and holocausts are made, with the blood of young bulls splashed on the altar. Then he took the blood and splashed it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.”
Why blood? What does this tradition of sacrifice mean?
Blood is the universal symbol of LIFE. We need blood to live. When blood is poured out, the creature dies. These creatures were precious to the people, for work and food. Sacrificing these animals meant suffering their loss. They were offered back to God, in acknowledgment of their total dependence on God for His blessings in their lives.
Today’s Gospel hits right to the source of the new covenant… Mark writes:
While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
“Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
“This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
And in the perfection of divine wisdom, going back tot he 2nd reading ties the two together. Christ, God Himself, becomes the ultimate sacrifice. His blood “cleanses our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.”
For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant:
since a death has taken place for deliverance
from transgressions under the first covenant,
those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.
We are truly sanctified through Christ into ETERNAL life, into the FULLNESS of life.
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Emily is a cradle Catholic, wife of over 12 years to her hilarious husband, and a mother of 4 kids. Emily loves all things Catholic and stays busy volunteering at her children's Catholic School and parish. She also works full time as an Electrical Design Engineer.