Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we who believe in Christ had been marked by the Lord our God, with a special mark, for each one of us, to distinguish us from those who do not believe and do not have faith and love for the Lord. That mark is none other than His own Precious Blood, the Blood of the Lamb of God, which He gave to us to mark His faithfulness and love for us, to mark the New Covenant He has established with all of us, with all mankind, a covenant that will never be broken.
The Blood of the covenant of Christ reminds us of the first reading today, when Moses sealed the covenant between the people of Israel and the Lord their God with the blood of animals, the blood of lambs and goats sacrificed on the altar made to God. The blood sealed the promise that God had made with their father Abraham, that his descendants would prosper and enjoy God’s blessing and be led to the Land of Promise.
On the other hand, the covenant involve a two-way promise and vow, and therefore, just as the Lord has vowed to bless His people and care for them, so the people too must keep their part of the covenant, to obey the laws of the Lord, and live according to His will. If they remain faithful to their part in the covenant, their lives will truly be happy and blessed, and they will receive the fullness of their covenant with God.
But if they break their part of the covenant, by disobeying the Lord and doing wicked things not in conjunction with the Lord’s will, then they will not receive the blessings that the Lord had promised them, and instead, they will truly suffer for having turned their back on the Lord and His covenant, the covenant of love He had offered freely to Abraham and his descendants that they will be blessed.
That was exactly what many of the people of Israel did, even just after Moses had sprinkled the blood of the covenant on them, as they complained against Moses and the Lord for having brought them in the journey through the desert to the Promised Land.
They complained because they did not keep themselves strong enough in the faith that the devil could come to them and sow the seeds of discord and evil in their hearts, and the seeds of desire and greed, desiring ever more things from the Lord, complaining to the Lord when they did not receive enough, even though the Lord had fed them with bread from heaven, the manna, and with quails and birds for them to eat, and also provide them with sweet and clear spring water to drink.
No, brothers and sisters in Christ, this is not the way that we should follow, the rebelliousness and the hard-hearted people of Israel during their sojourn in the desert. We must instead follow the path of Christ, of love and dedication, which we should give to the Lord and to our fellow men, and also thanksgiving to the Lord when it is due. That is because the Lord had given us much, very much indeed, that He gave us nothing else more precious, nor that there will ever be anything that is to be more precious, than His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour, and new hope of life eternal.
We must fortify ourselves, brethren, in our hearts and minds, that we will not succumb to the evil one. Prevent the sower of evil from sowing seeds of evil and sin within our hearts. Do not let him to reign free over us, and enslave us to the chains of sin and death. The devil will always try and utilise everything that is within his power to corrupt us and turn us from the path of the Lord, that is salvation, towards the path to hell and eternal damnation.
We must have a strong and healthy prayer life, that our heart will be defended from the assaults of the evil one. In doing so, our faith and dedication to the Lord will be complete.” But remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, that faith cannot stand on its own, and without good and positive acts in our words, deeds, and actions, our faith will be dead and empty. Yes, as empty as that of the people of Israel in the desert. They had been given manna, the bread from heaven and quails as food during their desert journey, and yet they still complained and blasphemed against His Name.
Our Lord is faithful, just as He is loving, brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves us all so much, that He shed His own Body and His own Blood, through the cross, that all of us be redeemed in a new covenant that He established by His own sacrifice, for our sake. This is no blood of the lambs and goats that die, brothers and sisters, but here is the Blood of the Lamb of God who lives, the Lamb who has triumphed and conquered Satan and evil. This Blood, the divine blood given to us out of the Lord’s own will, is the blood that purifies and cleanses, washing our beings white and pure again from all the filth and darkness of sin within us.
We receive this Blood and the Body, in the Eucharist, which the priests turned from the humble bread and wine, into the very Being of our Lord and Saviour, who died as the lamb of sacrifice, the True Lamb, who is the only one worthy to redeem us from all the weights of our faults and evil, all the horrible things we had committed, things abhorred by the Lord our God. He established this new covenant, a covenant not only with the people of Israel of old, but with all mankind, without exception. He established this new covenant, especially for sinners. The greater the sin that a sinner has, the more the Lord wants to come to redeem him or her from their fate that is death and hell.
He paid for this new covenant and sealed it with His own Blood, not blood of any animals, but the most precious Blood possible, the divine blood of the Lord, poured down on us from the cross, given to us to drink in the Eucharist, in the form of wine transubstantiated into His Blood. We who partake in this divine gift is sealed in the new covenant with God, through Christ, and as long as we remain faithful to God, we will ever be in God’s grace, and we will receive the gift of eternal life Christ had promised all those who believe in Him.
Our Lord loves us so much and He wants all of us saved, from our fate of certain death in sin. He has given His best and His all in His part on the covenant. But as I have mentioned, a covenant is made between two parties, in which both parties have to commit to the covenant that it is made valid and true. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we ready to commit ourselves to Christ, to His love? Are we ready to take up our own crosses and follow Christ, so that we will make whole the new covenant of the Lord?
Are we ready to commit ourselves to the Lord present in the Most Holy Eucharist? In His Body and Blood that He gave us that He may be in us and we in Him? Let us from now on strive to be the loving partner of our God in that holy covenant, and play our part, that is following the Lord’s commandments that is love. Love our God and love our fellow brethren as we love ourselves. For God is love! Amen.