"This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words of His." —Exodus 24:8
We have made a covenant of blood with God. Because life is in the blood (Lv 17:11), we have made a covenant of life with God. Our covenant with God is literally a matter of life and death. Because we have broken the covenant by our sins, we forfeit our lives and are doomed to destruction.
Almost two thousand years ago, shortly before His death on the cross, Jesus celebrated the Passover and the first Mass, at which He said: "This is My blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins" (Mt 26:28). Then Jesus shed His blood by dying on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus substituted His blood and His life for ours. He took on our consequences for our breaking the covenant and freed us from destruction.
Traditionally, the month of July has been marked as a special time for praising the blood of Jesus, although it's fitting to praise His blood every day. So let us joyfully praise the blood of Jesus by receiving His body and blood in Holy Communion, by applying His blood through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, by reading about His blood in the Scriptures, and by bringing up His blood in our prayer and other conversations. Praise the blood of Jesus!
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me "the wonder-working power of the blood of the Lamb."
Promise: "Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High." —Ps 50:14
Praise: Sts. Joachim and Ann passed on more than the ancient sacrificial rites to their daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary. They gave her the gift of a humble obedience that changed the world.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002