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Saturday, January 23, 1999

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Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14
Psalm 47
Mark 3:20-21

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blood and guts

"He entered not with the blood of goats and calves but with His own blood." —Hebrews 9:12

We in the United States of America have a warped relationship with blood. Due to the refinement of violence and special effects in the "entertainment" industry, many Americans have seen so much blood that it no longer moves them. How many weeks pass without someone's bloody picture being displayed on the nightly TV news? In America, blood sells.

There is an exception to this American preoccupation with blood. We don't want blood in religion. There have been numerous occasions in churches and in Christian schools when crucifixes have been intentionally removed and replaced with plain crosses. We don't want to upset anyone with a bloody reminder. We don't want to display bloody photographs of an aborted fetus; that is too "graphic." We don't like blood in religion because the blood testifies (1 Jn 5:7-8) to our guilt, and we don't have the guts to listen to its testimony.

Nonetheless, "Jesus Christ it is Who came through water and blood — not in water only, but in water and in blood" (1 Jn 5:6). He had the courage to enter the sanctuary with His very own blood. Jesus knew that "almost everything is purified by blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Heb 10:22). So He offered His very own blood to reconcile us to God (Col 1:20). Our sins were so serious that God had to shed His own blood to save us. Listen to the blood. Stand at the foot of Jesus' cross and bathe in the cleansing fountain of His blood.

Prayer:  Father, "let His blood be on us and on our children" (Mt 27:25).

Promise:  "The Lord, the Most High, the awesome, is the great King over all the earth." —Ps 47:3

Praise:  Ralph has a genetic blood disorder. In the last eight years, he has received the blood of Jesus nearly every day at Mass. His symptoms have lessened greatly during that time.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998