Body and Blood of Christ

5″x7″ oil on canvas by Brie Schulze

Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.  In Latin this literally means: Body of Christ.  The USCCB provides us with the official English title: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.  And if we read the readings, we can see that the main focus is in fact not flesh, but blood: the blood of the covenant.

Something that caught my attention as I was meditating on the first reading was the fact that the liturgy has not included several contextual verses of the first section of Exodus Ch. 24.  In particular, after the people and the altar have been sprinkled with blood, verses 9-11 mention the people eating and drinking in the presence of God without fear and seeing Him without dying.  They were of course eating the flesh of the sacrificial victim whose sprinkled blood bound them in communion with each other, with the altar of sacrifice, and with God.  Perhaps the theme of the covenant meal, the Eucharist, is too obvious and the Church wants us to discover something else. read more