“But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship
with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us
from all sins” (1 John 1: 7).
A Note from Fr. Michael
In this Sunday’s second reading St. Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, makes known to us a marvelous mystery that is brought about by the shedding of Christ’s Precious Blood on the cross. St. Paul tells us, “Brothers and sisters: In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh...thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it” (Ephesians 2: 13 – 16). Remember, last Sunday we said that St. Paul’s words are heavy with meaning and we need to deeply think about what he says. Paul is telling us that the shedding of Christ’s Blood on the cross has brought two families into one: Jews and Gentiles are brought into one family, the Church, the mystical Body of Christ. Jesus’ outstretched arms on the cross bring together two opposing families (Jews and Gentiles) into one family, destroying the enmity (hatred) that previously existed between them. The unbelievable power of Christ’s Blood! Not only does the Blood of Christ reconcile us with God but it also reconciles us with one another. There is power in His Blood! With this in mind, Pope St. John XIII tells us to have a devotion to the Blood of Christ.
Pope Saint John XXIII, the pope who convened the Second Vatican Council, was an ardent promoter of devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus. Pope Saint John XXIII said in his Apostolic Letter: “Unlimited is the effectiveness of the God- Man’s Blood, just as unlimited as the love that impelled him to pour it out for us, first at his circumcision eight days after birth, and more profusely later in his agony in the garden, in his scourging and crowning with thorns, in his climb to Calvary and crucifixion, and finally from out that great wide wound in his side which symbolizes the divine Blood cascading down into all the Church’s sacraments. Such surpassing love suggests, nay demands, that everyone reborn in the torrents of that Blood adore it with grateful love” (Inde A Primis). Pope St. John XXIII said that the Blood of Christ has “unlimited effectiveness.” What does this
mean? It means that the power of the Passion and Death of Christ is not locked in the past but is something that is perennially present for us. You and I can offer the Precious Blood of Christ to the Father as a powerful means of interceding for our loved ones and those who have hurt us. We offer the Blood of Jesus along with the priest at Mass to the Eternal Father. But also in our prayer life throughout the day we can offer the Blood of Jesus for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for those who have hurt us. The Blood of Christ makes us at peace with God, of course, but it can also bring about peace between people if offered to our heavenly Father. We can simply whisper a prayer along these lines, “Eternal Father, I Offer you the Precious Blood of your Son Jesus for…,” (and add one of the following intentions: for the forgiveness of my sins, for my family member, for peace with someone, for protection from danger, for strength to overcome temptation, etc.) As Catholics we are made a priestly people by our Baptism. This means we can offer to the Father the Blood of Jesus and we can apply the Blood of Jesus to ourselves and others. We learn from Scripture that the Blood of Jesus does the following: it gives life, it cleanses, it redeems, it protects and it eloquently speaks for our needs.
We can also nourish a devotion to the Blood of Jesus by meditating on the sorrowful mysteries of the holy Rosary, praying the Stations of the Cross, and by making a visit to the most Blessed Sacrament. The following are 14 Scripture verses that you could find in your Bible and use this week for meditating on the gift of our redemption brought about by the Blood of Christ:
Luke 22:20 1
Peter 1: 18 – 19
Revelation 12:11 1
Romans 5: 9
John 1: 7
“Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
Have a safe and enjoyable Summer!!
In the Sacred Heart of our Savior,