Monday, March 16, 2009

The Blood of Jesus

The blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
Jesus came by water and blood, not by water only. 1 John 5:6

The Blood of Jesus
· Was on the whips that scourged Him, the ties that bound him to the scourging pillar and the ground in the scourging area
· Stuck to the Crown of Thorns and where did that Crown go?
· Dropped along the ground from the scourging site to the Hill on Calvary
· Was on the nails that pierced His Body
· Was on the sword that was thrust into His side
· Stuck to the Cross itself where Jesus was nailed
· Dripped to the ground as He hung on the Cross
· Was on Mary’s clothes during the Pieta moment
· Was washed off as they prepared Jesus’ body for burial

This blood was precious. Centuries ago when saints died it was not unusual to send the person’s limbs to various other churches where they could be reverenced. In Jesus’ case, his body was carefully buried and then rose from the dead. His blood, however, was washed away, absorbed into the ground or ignored. To those present it must have been a painful sight. It was a glaring and vivid reminder of the suffering and death of their Loved One. Today, in hospitals they try to dispose of the blood so the family members don’t have to view it. Blood depicts pain and suffering –something that must be washed quickly away. In Jesus’ case it confirmed the loss of their King, their Hope for the future; the fulfillment of the Old Testament longing. It was too much, too visual.

At the moment of death there are things to be done. One must say good-bye to the deceased as in one last hug or kiss. The body must be prepared for the burial and then, of course, the reverent placement in the tomb.
But no one, as St. Therese of Liseaux noted, paid attention to the precious blood of Jesus. In his movie, The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson depicts the post-scourging scene in which Mary frenetically tries to wipe up Jesus’ blood which lay all over the scourging area floor. Watching that scene one almost feels that Mary was hoping that if she washed away the blood she could wash away the event. Jesus’ torture would be erased. Or maybe she didn’t want Jesus’ torturers to irreverently walk all over it while laughing and cheering with each other at what they had done.

St. Therese wanted to be able to stand under the Cross in order to catch the drops that fell. I picture myself kneeling under that large killing tool called the crucifix, with a beggar’s bowl. I once saw a stained glass window in which a person reached up under each side of the “T” on the cross with a chalice. Another chalice received the blood dripping from Our Lord’s feet. In this window picture, Jesus’ face was replaced with a white round host. That’s what Eucharist is all about: the reception of the body and blood of our Lord that transforms our human bodies into replicas of His.

When the transformed wine is consumed, the heat of the alcohol can be felt as it travels down the esophagus. I look forward to feeling that. It announces Jesus’ entrance into my body. While burning away the sinful me I am transformed into the Sacred. Jesus and I become one.

Silence. Returning to my pew I am in awe. Drinking from the cup was a simple act. Did I miss the Sacrament of it all? Did it really happen? Indeed it did! Jesus is in me. Jesus transforms me. Everyone around me is singing the hymn, but honestly I cannot sing. The moment, the intimacy is too sacred. I cannot let it pass unnoticed. Silent awareness and humility are the only responses I can bring to the moment.

The priest speaks again and we all begin to walk out. The Mass is over. The aisle is crowded with Jesus because Jesus transformed the others, too. Can you see it? Can you feel His presence? The Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior has transformed this Church. We are Jesus’ hands and feet on earth.

The Mass is ended. Go in peace.


  1. I love what you wrote! I feel just the same way!

  2. Yes, that moment of intimacy during communion is such a surprising grace after years of "knowing with the mind" but not the heart. I too have experienced it and it cannot but change everything...little by little of course! Otherwise we would drop over dead at the overwhelming awe of it all...God is good!!!

  3. Anonymous12:07 PM


    I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at

    May I use some of the information from your blog post right above if I give a link back to this website?


  4. spoildchld7:14 PM