THE BLOOD OF/FOR…: A HOMILY ON SATURDAY, 5TH WEEK OF LENT
If you have ever listened to a preacher, one thing you would have heard very often is that Jesus died to save us. But how did we arrive at this? What is it that makes this point very clear? It is the Holy Mass! What? Yes, it is true. How? Our readings today calls to mind the words used by Jesus at the last supper, which the priest uses at every mass: THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY, FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME. Here, Jesus tells us the significance of His blood as well as the merits we receive from the shedding of his blood. Our first reading speaks of God’s plan to make a covenant with David, a covenant which will be eternal. Other covenants were not eternal. The difference between the promises made to David and that made to other patriarchs is the eternal character. Jesus tells us that His Blood is the blood of the New and Eternal/Everlasting covenant. In our first reading we also see an image of God gathering his people from every corners of the earth. This image is that of the Catholicity of the Church, meaning the universal character of the Church. This is why Jesus said ‘IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY’. Nobody is excluded in the merits of the passion and death of Christ.
In the Gospel we see another part of this narrative when Caiaphas, the high priest that year told the people that they do not seem to understand what is going on. He tells them that it is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed. The bible tells us that he did not speak in his own person, but he spoke as a high priest. This becomes a prophecy that Jesus will die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but to gather the scattered children of God from every corner of the earth. This is exactly what we celebrate when we gather everyday in the Catholic Church to celebrate this mystery of our salvation. Everyday, we hear those words again as the priest addresses them to God the Father ‘…THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY, FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS….’ This is the moment when Jesus offers Himself, His life, His death, His everything to save us from eternal punishment. Thanks be to Jesus.
I am Fr. Ifeanyichukwu Henry Nwokoro, CSsR. I am your fellow child of God and this is my way of sharing my daily reflections with you. Please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or question. Let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord.
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