for Sunday, June 10, 2012
Lots of people today have never been in contact with blood, with the
slaughtering of animals and generally not at all with blood being thrown on
them. Nevertheless, we still recognize that a person without blood must
be a dead person. We recognize that blood is essential for life. Lots of
us know that sometimes a gift of blood to another person saves that
person's life. It may not be too difficult for us to understand that we
can give our life, our body and our blood, for another person.
Today's readings are filled with the imagery of body and blood sacrificed
so that others can be bound together with life and to God. If a group of
modern people make a commitment together, there may be other symbols, such
as a uniform, a similar way of doing things or with various hand symbols.
Gangs have rituals and so do organized groups.
The reading from Exodus which is our first reading today is about
establishing a covenant between a group of people and God. This covenant
was a promise that they would all follow the words and ordinances given by
God to Moses. The covenant together was ratified by sprinkling the blood
of young, sacrificed bulls on the people.
The Letter to the Hebrews then speaks about the blood of Christ and how
much more powerful it is than the blood of sacrificed animals. If a person
has ever been in danger and someone else has sacrificed his or her own life
for them, that person easily understands the strength of giving one's life
for another. Married spouses should be able to sacrifice their lives for
one another or for their children. There are wonderful examples of this in
time of war, even in the worst of wars. There are also examples such as
Maximilian Kolbe and many others who were willing to give their lives so
that another person might live.
Jesus is God. He claims this for Himself in every Gospel in the way He
speaks, the way He uses Scriptures, His miracles and His way of living.
God took on body and blood in Christ Jesus and became fully human while
remaining fully Divine. This Man-God Jesus then freely choose to give His
life for us, for you and for me. It is a gift beyond anything that we
could have dreamed up on our own. Jesus chooses to continue to give this
gift to us in the Eucharist.
It is such an incredible gift to us, that every time we are able to
participate in the Eucharist, we are able to receive in such a special way
this gift of the Body and Blood of Christ, given for us.
Today we celebrate this gift. The solemnity is a re-echoing of Holy
Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. May our hearts be ever more open
to this gift and respond to such Divine Love and Mercy with joy and
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Exodus 24.3-8
Second Reading: Hebrews 9.11-15
Gospel: Mark 14.12-16, 22-26
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: