The Body and the Blood of the
New and Eternal Covenant
Today the three readings from the Lord bear witness that God has joined with humanity in a flesh-and-blood bond— a covenant.
The highest, deepest and eternal covenant is the one that binds God to us in the Body and Blood of Christ.
Before Christ, God took on a bond with humanity by the blood of a sacrificial animal.
Today in the Book of Exodus we see Moses take the blood of bulls.
Following God’s instruction, Moses pours half the blood on the altar.
The altar represents God.
The blood on the altar is the sign that God is making a self-binding, life-and-death promise to the people.
After the people promise to obey God, Moses then sprinkles the other half of the bull’s blood on them.
The blood on them is a sign of their life-and-death promise binding them to God.
This is not God’s blood or human blood.
It is the blood of a mere animal.
However, the death and the blood of that animal became the chosen sign of a life-and-death promise between God and Israel to be faithful to each other.
Before there were any human beings, before there was a universe, the Son of God stood everlastingly faithful before the loving Father in the Spirit of thankfulness and communion.
Before they made the universe— with or without the universe— the Son and Father have one Spirit as their eternal, faithful covenant with each other.
The eternal Son came to earth two thousand years ago and received the name Jesus.
On the day of his earthly arrival, a human heart, a human mind, a human body— human flesh and blood— began to belong to the Son of God in person.
Alive in the human Body and Blood of Christ Jesus is the covenant— the relationship— of the eternal Son with the eternal Father.
When we eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ, we are entering not only a relationship of human persons with God.
In the Body and Blood of Christ we are entering God’s relationship with God.
The second letter of Saint Peter [1:4] dares to say we become communicants or sharers in God’s nature [theías koinonoì phúseos].
In Christ’s Eucharistic Body and Blood, we take, eat, drink, live off and share in the relationship of God the Son with God the Father in God the Holy Spirit.
Not just our relationship with God, but God’s relationship with God!
On the day Christ calls us to rise from the dead in the new heavens and the new earth, we will know and enjoy with unspeakable pleasure that God’s love for God is alive in us— alive in our own personal hearts and minds, alive in our own personal body and blood.
Let us keep in mind the relationship of Christ and the Father as we hear of it in one of the prayers at Mass [Eucharistic Prayer I].
On the day before he was to suffer,
he took bread in his holy and venerable hands,
and with eyes raised to heaven
to you, O God, his almighty Father,
giving you thanks, he said the blessing,
broke the bread
and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take this, all of you, and eat of it,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY,
WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
In a similar way, when supper was ended,
he took this precious chalice
in his holy and venerable hands,
and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing
and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT,
FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT,
WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY
FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
The new and eternal COVENANT!
On this solemn festival day of the Body and Blood Covenant of Christ, the Mass offers the following Prayer after Communion.
Grant, O Lord, we pray,
that we may delight for all eternity
in that share in your divine life,
which is foreshadowed in the present age
by our reception of your precious Body and Blood.
Together with Christ and by the power of the Spirit, may we always live for the Father!
And together with Christ and by the power of the Spirit, may we always rejoice in knowing that the Father lives for us!
Turn. Love. Repeat.