“Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
“This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you.” EX 24:7
One of the most beautiful images use frequently in the Old Testament is that of blood! In the days of antiquity, the science of biology was very undeveloped. One thing they did observe was the close relationship between life and blood! The Hebrew word for blood (dam) appears some 360 times in OT. In the NT blood (haima) occurs 97 times. For the ancients blood especially meant life or its loss meant death. Even today we know that a loss of too much blood spells death! “Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. Deut 12:23
When Moses sprinkled blood on the altar (what belongs to God) and on the people both God and His people in a wonderful way shared the same life! When we celebrate the Eucharist “we who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.” Eph 2:13 .
Jesus shares these dramatic words with us: “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.” John 6:53 This is a life of deep intimacy with Christ. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. John 6:56
Our eight pints of blood circulate through the heart maybe 60 times an hour, absorbing recently inhaled oxygen from the honeycombed fabric of the lungs and proceeding into the thickly muscled heart, which then shoots the enriched fluid onward to nourish the rest of our body.
Jesus mingles his Blood with ours in Communion. Jesus unites His bl00d with ours which feeds and cleans us. It delivers fresh oxygen and other nutrients to all 100 trillion cells of the body, flushing out carbon dioxide, ammonia and other metabolic trash. Our blood is touched by the Blood of Jesus! This great Sacrament fills us with the fullness of Christ, “is it not a participation (koinonia: sharing) in the blood (life) of Christ?” -1 Corinthians 10:16
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.