RISKING BODY AND BLOOD
“This is the blood of the covenant.” —Exodus 24:8
Exodus 24:3-8; Hebrews 9:11-15;Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
The Last Supper was held in seclusion under the threat of persecution. To keep away those who might disrupt the Last Supper, Jesus arranged for a divine combination of circumstances — a man carrying a water jar was the unsuspecting guide to the home in which the Last Supper was to be eaten (Mk 14:13ff).
Throughout the history of the Church, there has been persecution facing those who worship Jesus in Holy Mass. When persecuted in Rome, the early Church held Mass deep in the catacombs under the city. People were martyred if caught at these Masses. Some Catholics in China walk thirty miles to receive the Eucharist. If caught, they risk being put to death. In England during the persecution of Catholics, priests were hidden inside the walls of houses. Masses were held in secret rooms. Many people who attended were caught and brutally martyred.
In America and many other countries of the world, we are at present able to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist freely, at least at the time of this writing. Attacks on religious freedom and the Catholic Church may be a portent of persecution to come.
Jesus gave His life, that is, His Body and Blood, so that we could receive Him in the Eucharist. If you knew you could be killed walking into the door of Church today, would you still risk your life to receive His Body and Blood?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, this is my body, to be given up for You. Make me a missionary of the Eucharist so as to lead as many as possible to eucharistic love and worship.
Promise: “…how much more will the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself up unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God!” —Heb 9:14
Praise: “Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore! O, make us love Thee more and more.”