Many of us have heard the gospel through the Church and her Scriptures, and we have said: "We will do everything that the Lord has told us" (Ex 24:3). The Israelites said the same thing to Moses. He was led by the Lord "to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar" (Ex 24:5-6). If you saw buckets of blood splashed on the altar, what would you think? The Lord taught that life is in the blood (Lv 17:11).
After splashing the blood and "taking the book of the covenant, [Moses] read it aloud to the people, who answered, 'All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do.' Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, 'This is the blood of the covenant' " (Ex 24:7-8). If you had blood sprinkled on your face, in your hair, spotting your clothes, in your eye, and on your lips, what would you think? Obeying God is a matter of life and death.
Jesus commands us to drink His Blood (Mt 26:27-28; Jn 6:53ff). This is so great and mysterious that we are shocked by His command to drink Jesus' Blood, that is, God's Blood. When we drink God's Blood, we are not only in obedience but in communion. We are in eternal life.
As we come to the end of July, the month traditionally dedicated to Jesus' precious Blood, let us receive the precious Body and Blood of Jesus as never before. Let us have a "first Communion."
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2013 through July 31, 2013.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013.