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Sunday, June 14, 2009

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Body and Blood of Jesus
(Corpus Christi)

Exodus 24:3-8
Hebrews 9:11-15
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

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blood-covenant and communion

"This is My blood, the blood of the covenant." —Mark 14:24

At the Last Supper, Jesus made a covenant with us through His blood. Within the next twenty-four hours, Jesus "poured out" His blood on Calvary (Mk 14:24). This reminds us of the pouring out, even splashing, of the blood of the animal sacrifices on the altar in the Temple (see Lv 17:6). Poured-out blood is a dramatic, sensory expression of total commitment to the Lord.

The writer of Hebrews pictures the blood of the covenant not being splashed but being applied as a cleansing agent. Christ's blood cleanses "our consciences from dead works to worship the living God" (Heb 9:14). Covenant blood is used for the repentance and forgiveness of sins.

Moses made a blood-covenant between the Lord and the Israelites by sprinkling the blood of the animal sacrifices on the people. (Imagine drops of blood falling on your arms, in your face, and in your hair.) This sprinkled blood represented a covenant of obedience, for, before the sprinkling of the blood, the people promised: "All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do" (Ex 24:7, 3).

When we receive Holy Communion, we are covenanting to pour out our lives in total love for the Lord, to repent of our sins, be washed in His blood (see Rv 7:14), and to obey the Lord in every detail of our lives. Make a blood-covenant in Holy Communion today on this feast of Corpus Christi.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I desire to receive You in Holy Communion every day for the rest of my life.

Promise:  "This is My body." —Mk 14:22

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who gave His last drop of blood that we may be set free.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape, Covenanting, on audio AV 40C-1 or video V-40C.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009

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