Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
June 14, 2009
Are We Truly ‘Blood Brothers and Sisters’?
As children we often imitated the tradition of becoming blood brothers or sisters when we had a very close friend, i.e., if we were brave enough to actually cut ourselves for the ritual. Boys practiced this tradition more often than did the girls. Nonetheless, many of us are familiar with the concept.
Being related through blood renders the thought that our relationship is not fleeting. We are bound to one another at the very core of our being. The very blood that runs through our veins comes from one source. We are one forever. No one can change that fact. Only an act of the will can drag us away on a physical plane but our beings will always be united.
Jesus was very aware of this fact. The Old Testament is full of stories of blood being shed for the many. There are stories that tell of the sacrifices of the people by their priests. Animals would be killed and half their blood would be splattered on the altar while the other half was sprinkled on the people thus making them one with their God to whom the sacrifice was being offered. Because the act was so dramatic, the symbolism was not lost on the people. They were literally drenched in the same blood as that being offered on the altar.
This week we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. The feast is often misunderstood if understood at all. We tend to minimize its significance as simply a day when we pay special respect to the Eucharist. This is not true whatsoever. In actuality we should pay special respect year round, not only on this feast. What then are we celebrating during this liturgical feast?
Well, for one thing, when Jesus gave us his body and blood at the Last Supper he was giving us the gift that would unite us to him and the father forever. He gave us his body in order to feed us and strengthen us in divine life. He gave us his blood to unite us forever. In the receiving of this gift we are bound to God who loves us and created us. We can never be separated from him when we are faithful to this gift.
The feast has yet another meaning however. When we come together to celebrate the Eucharist we share the one body and the one cup. This means that we are one with one another. When we share the cup we become “Blood brothers and sisters”. Do we truly understand the significance of this matter? We are also the living presence of Jesus on a daily basis. This is a tall order but it is reality nonetheless. As the Body of Christ we are called to give of ourselves wholly for others. Are we ready and willing to live up to our calling? We cannot do it alone. We need God’s help. Let us pray for the strength to accept this beautiful gift.
Lorette P. Nault