June 6th: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Dear Parish Family,
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. The Gospel gives St. Pete’s recollection of the institution of the Blessed Eucha-rist as handed down by St. Mark several years later. We focus on that which ties together the bloody sacrifice of the Old Covenant, the offering of the Precious Blood of Christ on the cross, and the unbloody re-presentation of that sacrifice we celebrate daily at the Holy Mass. And in every one of these three parts, we see the reality, we see the presence of Christ.
Moses appears today at the mountain of God’s awe-inspiring presence with God’s people and God’s word, which he writes down to prepare the covenant document, the Ten Commandments. Because the mountain and the people and the covenant were to be holy, he erected an altar at the mountain’s base. Oxen are sacrificed and their blood gathered. Half was used to bathe the altar and half was literally “scattered upon the family” of Israel with the words “this is the blood of the covenant.” After this, the elders of Israel went up the mountain, beheld the God of Israel, ate to-gether, but did not die. Thus was the Old Covenant ratified in blood and with a sacrificial meal.
Jesus is for the New Covenant both the priest and the victim. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews spends many verses defending Christ’s priest-hood” according to the Order of Melchizedek,” because Jesus was of the tribe of Judah, not Levi. Having done that to the satisfaction of all, he hearkens back to the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement when the Jew-ish high priest entered God’s presence behind the veil of the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people with the blood of animals. In the Christian dispensation, the true and lasting High Priest, Jesus the Messiah, entered the presence of God through the tabernacle on high with His own Precious Blood. He offered His own Body and Blood to God so that we would be purified of dead works (sin). Christ’s Blood is tied to the New Covenant, with Jesus as the eternal priest and mediator. The promise of this covenant is an “eternal inheritance” of life, recalling Jesus’ promise of eternal life to those who would worthily eat His Body and drink His Blood. (hprweb.com) We are a Eucharistic people. The Eucharist is our life. Today as we have a Eucharistic procession, let us give praise, honor and thanksgiving to Jesus who gave Himself for us.
Congratulations to our First Communicants and their families! May we always eat His Body and Drink his Blood worthily unto eternal life.
God Bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG