“In the course of their meal, having taken and blessed the bread, he broke it and gave it to them. Then he said, “Take this is my body”. Taking the cup, he gave it to them, thanking God, and they all drank from it. He said, “This is my blood, God’s new covenant, poured our for many people. I’ll not be drinking wine again until the new day when I drink it in the kingdom of God”. (Mark 14: 22 – 25)
A local blood bank has the name LifeSource. Blood indeed is what keeps us alive as it courses through our veins bringing oxygen and taking out carbon dioxide.
A simple transfusion of a pint of blood can mean the difference between life and death. Infections carried in the bloodstream can be deadly. How our blood works appears so simple yet is very complex. Giving someone blood that is not their identified type causes layers of problems and could even result in death.
Meanwhile we go on living and let the blood in our veins do its work. No wonder before the advent of modern medicine, blood had almost magical qualities to it. There were ritual bloodlettings. Exchanging blood made people “brothers” or “sisters”. Blessing with blood of sacrificial animals provided strength or purification. Covering oneself with the blood of an enemy made you stronger.
To say that we become the Body and Blood of Christ takes a leap of faith that many are not able to make. To be transformed into the mysterious source of life that being the body and blood of Christ in our world demands is much more than many want to take on. Yet as Christians we must embrace and consume the body as we bring our lips to the cup and pray “Amen”.