In the liturgical life of the Church we are often reminded of the suffering of Jesus, of his sacrifice for us, a sacrifice we share in at each mass. However, we can lose sight of another dimension of the mass, namely that it is, at its best, a glimpse of our destiny, a foretaste of heaven.
For the Jewish people blood was not only the sign of sacrifice, blood was also the symbol of life. Indeed ‘what gives us life’, is the blood which moves around our body. Yes, it’s our blood which animates us, it’s our blood which renews us, it’s our blood which ‘enlivens’ us. Sharing then in the blood of Jesus gives us ‘new life’, sharing in the blood of Jesus gives us a share in his life.
What great joy it is for us then to be back together as a worshipping community and able, again, to share in this foretaste of the heavenly banquet. What a joy and what sustenance this heavenly food is for those who accept it. As Emeritus Pope Benedict said once “We all need this Bread, because the journey toward freedom, justice, and peace is long and tiring.”
So, on this wonderful feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, let’s be open to this great and profound mystery of our faith. Jesus not only promised to be with us until the end of time, but he is with us now – at every mass. Can there be any greater gift?