"the blood of the covenant" (mt 26:28)
"This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words of His." —Exodus 24:8
Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments and the Law. When he related to the people "all the words and ordinances of the Lord, they all answered with one voice, 'We will do everything that the Lord has told us' " (Ex 24:3). After having written down the Law, Moses reconvened the people the next day. He built an altar and sacrificed holocausts (Ex 24:4-5). Half of the blood from the sacrificed animals he splashed on the altar (Ex 24:6). The other half he sprinkled "on the people, saying, 'This is the blood of the covenant' " (Ex 24:8).
Imagine seeing animals sacrificed and large quantities of blood splashed on the altar. Imagine how it would feel to have blood sprinkled on you and dripping down your face, hair, and clothes. Although this seems more peculiar to us than it would to a Jew, we can still get the message. Our covenant with God is the most serious commitment possible for a human being. When we give our word that we will obey God's word, He takes us at our word and leads us into a new, grace-filled, and mysterious dimension of human existence. When we covenant with God, we decide to love Him even to the point of giving our lives for Him. Covenanting to obey God is serious, bloody, eternal, sacrificial, and mysterious.
Prayer: Father, I covenant with You and express it in today's Mass and Communion.
Promise: "Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High." —Ps 50:14
Praise: Charles and Linda attend Mass together each day since his retirement.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Covenanting on audio AV 40C-1 or video V-40C.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007
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