THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST
Every day the Church celebrates the liturgical memory of a Saint, this is a way to sanctify the entire year. For example, on July 1st, we celebrated Saint Junipero Serra, on July 2nd St. Processus and Martinian, on July 3rd at St Thomas Apostle, and so on. But in addition to that it also sanctifies the twelve months of the year with twelve special devotions that arose spontaneously in the history of Christianity and are commemorated in most countries.
The month of May is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and July to the Precious Blood of Christ, Feast that is celebrated on July 1st in the traditional Roman rite.
It is Jesus who pours all his blood for the forgiveness of our sins, our life – body, soul and spirit – has been bought for a very high price: the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The collected prayer that is meditated in this Festival says:
“Omnipotent eternal God, who sent your only Son to be the Redeemer of the world and save us by His Blood: grant us, we pray, that by our solemn service, we may venerate the price of our redemption, and by its power be defended from the evils presents of life on earth, so that we can enjoy its eternal fruits in heaven. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord”.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a suffering servant who would take on the sins of the people: “Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. We thought of him has stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were heal” (Is 53, 4- 5). Christ came to take on the punishments of man, to end the cycle of death and animal sacrifices, which they cannot save. The only blood that redeems, that saves, is the Blood of Christ.
In the twentieth and twenty-first century a lot of blood has been spilled from Christians who have died defending their faith and shouting: “Viva Christ the King”. We have Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio, San Miguel Pro and many more in the history of the Church. The blood of all these holy martyrs, said a father of the Church: “It is the seed of new Christians” (Tertullian, year 197). The blood of all these men and women is not the one that redeems, it is not the one that washes away sins, only the Blood of Christ forgives.
Christ became the ultimate sacrifice, as the letter to the Hebrews explains. “Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offered continually each year” (10, 1). The sacrifices of the Old Testament could never be enough to redeem man from his sin. For this reason Christ came into the world, so “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10). “He, on the other hand, after offering a single sacrifice for sins, sat forever at the right hand of God” (10,12).
During the Last Supper, Christ instituted the Eucharist, indicating that the disciples should offer this sacrifice in place of those of the old law. When offering the chalice, which contains the wine, became his blood, Christ says: “Drink all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins” (Mt 26, 28).
The blood of Christ is now the blood of the new covenant that unites man with God for eternity. Christ specifically says that we are redeemed and our sins are forgiven by the shedding of his blood.
Therefore, the blood of Christ has a specific importance, since, when he died on the cross, all his blood was poured out for our souls; there was not a drop left in his body. All Christ had to do was point his finger to save souls, but instead he chose to become one with us and shed all his blood for the good of humanity.
Every drop of his blood was shed for love, for the redemption of our souls. We no longer need the blood sacrifices of the Old Covenant, we are no longer trapped in the cycle of death, for the blood of Christ brings eternal life for man. Through the blood of Christ that is received today in the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, comes the new life.
Let’s see our Lord’s love for us. Not only that he became one among us in flesh and blood, but that he also gave his life on the Cross, shedding his own blood, so that we can have eternal life with Him. And not only that, but it allows us to receive it in the daily Eucharist, if we decide and we are in a state of grace.
Let us live in a state of grace and let the blood of Jesus bear fruit in us and purify us of all our faults.
Happy month of July: Fr. Fidel M