Holy Thursday Reflection

5 Apr

I got this reflection from Creighton University’s Online Ministry page by Rev. Rich Gabuzda:

New Life

As these Holy Three Days unfold for us once again, we are drawn into the silence of the Upper Room, where Jesus speaks carefully chosen words to his chosen friends.  In view of the events to follow on Good Friday, he offers them a gift—a gift that is at once ancient and at the same time completely new.  He celebrates this meal with them, recalling the ancient covenant which gave the Jewish people their identity as the “chosen.”  But now he infuses this ritual with new life and mysterious meaning:  Over the cup he says, “This is the new covenant in my blood.”

To his hearers, the words “blood” and “covenant” would have had a familiar ring.  The Jewish mind was trained to know that “where there is blood, there is life.”  But here Jesus shapes the meaning of this ancient connection so that this blood communicates his life, divine life. No longer the blood of goats and calves (Heb. 9, 12), but his own blood, the fruit of his sacrificial love, given as the New Covenant.

We want to allow ourselves to be drawn by the awe of hearing those words from the altar, day after day.  Jesus’ blood, his sacrificial love, offered again and again.  We are invited to place in the cup all that threatens to divide us from this holy communion:  our fears, our desire to live life on our own terms, our unforgiveness, our doubts.  His death means death to all that separates us from him; his life conquers all death.  Drink, be cleansed, be renewed!  In this blood, there is new life!

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