Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Blood of the Lamb










"In Him we have redemption by His blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of His grace that He lavished upon us." Ephesians 1:7-8

July is the month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus. Reflecting on the blood of Jesus, what He shed for us poor sinners, I thought about just how vital our blood is for us in our human bodies. I can’t give a test tube worth of blood without becoming light-headed and weak. I have friends who regularly donate blood, who spend the days before "ironing up." Blood, for our human bodies, is a source of strength, essential for our human life.

Jesus, in His great love, poured out so much of His most precious blood. How weak, how pained, His poor body must have been. Physically, there was no preparation for what He went through in His passion. His body, his mind, his heart, his emotions, all of His humanity was wounded, pained, completely emptied and depleted. All that made up His human body was poured out before us, poured out for us.


I once heard a story about the process by which anti-venom is made. In the story I heard, poisonous venom is extracted from a snake, and is injected little by little into a lamb. The venom enters into the blood and after some time, again, little by little, the blood of the lamb is extracted. The extracted venom, mixed with and covered by the blood of the lamb, now contains what will be used as anti-venom. What was introduced to the lamb as poison, has been altered, purified, by the blood of the lamb.

I’m no expert on medicine, but I do know that this story points to the power that is found in the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus poured out His blood for us as a New Covenant. The sacrifice of His body and blood paid the price of our freedom from sin and death. His blood covers us, cleanses us, allows us to heal, to love, to move forward, to move on. His blood poured out for us means that we need not be subject to the law of sin and death. Jesus has given his body and blood for us, and we can take hold of and accept the freedom He offers us, be made clean and free, subject to the law of life and the Spirit. Our lives, weak and subject to temptation and sin, have been purified by the blood of the Lamb.

"Oh compassionate blood, through you was distilled compassionate mercy!" Saint Catherine of Siena

Today, the Blood of Jesus continues to flow through us, His body. The gift of the Holy Eucharist provides for us the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Receiving Him, His mercy courses through our veins, impelling us to continue His work of salvation and mercy, bringing His love to a broken, needy world.

Let us place ourselves at the feet of our precious Savior, beholding what He poured out for us. Let us allow His blood to wash and cleanse us, to give us strength to empty ourselves of our human weakness, of whatever we’re clinging to that we need to let go of. And let us draw near to Him and His most precious blood in the gift of the Holy Eucharist, and let His sacrifice nourish our spirits, that we might be equipped to live less by the flesh, and more fully by the Spirit
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"The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6

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Sarah Rzasa made her promise and became a Pauline Cooperator in 2014.  She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.  Sarah is a teacher and a proud “cioci,” or aunt.  She cooperates with the Daughters of St. Paul in Jamaica Plain and helps the children of the Holy Family Institute in Cambridge.  Sarah is a Eucharistic Minister at her parish, St. Patrick’s in Stoneham.


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