June 6, 2021
What is a Covenant? Why is it so important to God? Why is it so important to your life?
- Scott Hahn’s Catholic Bible Dictionary notes that a covenant is more than a contract. A covenant is about a bond between persons and usually involves a sacred oath.
- Covenants often had a ritual that involved a common meal as a sign that the parties had become one family.
- The people of Israel discovered that God himself wanted to enter into a covenant with them. God desired a union with His people.
- The Lord called Moses to give him the conditions of the covenant. He was asking them to recognize the truth, that He is their God, and gives Moses the 10 commandments.
- At the Last Supper, Jesus expresses a new covenant. He speaks of His Body and Blood as the new everlasting covenant.
- The Eucharist is both a family meal and a meal of God’s family. God is calling His people into union, to sacred communion and to Holy Communion, a sacrifice of the New Covenant.
- The sacrifice of Jesus is made present in the Mass so that if we have faith in it, those graces will flow in us and through us into the world.
“The blood of the new and everlasting covenant.” We hear those words in every Mass, and all the readings today are speaking of the blood of the covenant. What was so important about a covenant that Jesus was willing to die in order to fulfill this covenant? What does this covenant mean for you, for your life?
We saw in the first reading, where after the word of the covenant was read, then they are sprinkled with the blood as a sign of this ritual self-curse, binding them to obey the covenant that they are making with God, a sacred oath and liturgical ritual. God is inviting this people to have God Himself, as their God, to recognize the truth, that He is their God. And He’s also asking them to be loving towards each other, to not kill, to not steal, to not lie, to not commit adultery, to honor their father, and mother. And almost immediately, and this is the great realism of Scripture, the people break the covenant, and are unfaithful.
In the Gospel reading today, we have the new covenant, when Jesus says, “This is My Blood of the covenant, the new and everlasting covenant.” Jesus is taking upon Himself, the curse that came from the people breaking their covenant, the curse of sin. He is giving His life because God desires union with His people. He is calling His people into union, sacred communion, to Holy Communion. This meal is a sacrifice, a sacrifice of the New Covenant. God knows that we’re sinners and He offers His sacrifice so that if we trust in Him, if we accept His sacrifice, if we believe in Him, the power of His sacrifice can wash us and free us from the curse brought on by our sins and permits us to enter into Holy Communion with our Lord. Jesus gives us this opportunity to renew the covenant, to renew the union for Blood of the new and everlasting covenant in Mass. So, this feast of Corpus Christi, and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, of the sacred mysteries, is calling us back to the essence of our faith.