Each of our readings today emphasizes the theme of covenant. Moses speaks to the people in our first reading from the Book of Exodus: This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words of his. Blood was a symbol of life. So we see the importance in using blood to seal the covenant – as the covenant with God means life for the Jewish people.
Our second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews connects the Jewish feast of the Atonement with the death and resurrection of Jesus. The feast of the Atonement was when the high priest entered the Temple sanctuary for the rite of purification. The high priest would perform this rite every year. Jesus Christ, the high priest by shedding his own blood accomplishes our redemption, “once for all”. When Christ came as high priest…passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. Jesus’s Last Supper is a Passover meal. The words used by Jesus in instituting the Eucharist, look back- wards at the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Exodus and look forwards to His sacrifice on the cross, forming the new covenant. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” At Mass, we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, so we may: Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by our lives – witnessing to Jesus, by our loving words, actions and thoughts!
God bless us all always! Deacon Mike