Feast of the Precious Blood reflection by Fr. Angelo Anthony, C.PP.S.
“Who am I?” This question comes to mind as I reflect upon the scripture readings for the Solemnity of the Precious Blood. It is a question that takes us into the mystery of God’s creative love and our identity as human beings. “Who am I?” I am a person redeemed in the Blood of Christ!
Earlier this month the members of Anthony clan gathered for a family reunion. This year, several second cousins from my grandmother’s side heard about our reunion and asked if they could join us. It was fun to meet these unknown members of the family and to learn about how the Anthonys are connected to the Pulskamp family tree. This awareness reminded me of the fact that our story is wrapped up in a much larger story of God’s providence.
Coming to an awareness of our identity as a people redeemed in the Blood of Christ is critical to our development as children of God. Knowing that we belong together strengthens our identity and challenges us to live as a people redeemed in the Blood of Christ.
As Christians, our family tree is rooted in the Blood of the Cross, the Tree of Life. Through scripture we can research our identity within God’s family tree from one generation to the next; our ancestors handing on to us what they received from the Lord. This relationship is expressed in the form of a covenant.
When Moses approached the people of God with “all the words and ordinances of the Lord” they agreed to do all that the Lord had told them (Ex 24). This agreement, this unconditional covenant, was sealed with the blood of life offered in sacrifice.
When Jesus gathered his disciples to share the Passover meal he gave new meaning to this covenant of love by offering the cup of the covenant sealed in his own Blood. Those united by the tree of the cross “have become near by the Blood of Christ.” As St. Paul says, “you are no longer strangers and sojourners” looking for an identity, you are “members of the household of God” with a heritage “built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets” (Eph 2).
When we claim our identity as a people redeemed in the Blood of Christ, we are strengthened in the awareness of who we are and the life we share in the Precious Blood. Through the Blood of Christ, we are able to come close to God and one another. Through the Blood of Christ, we have the power to overcome evil. Through the Blood of Christ, we are washed clean of sin. Through the Blood of Christ, the price of our salvation and been paid, once and for all. Through the Blood of Christ, we share in Christ’s victory over death. Through the Blood of Christ, we are spiritually alive. Through the Blood of Christ, we find peace.
When we lose touch of our identity as a people redeemed in the Blood of Christ, we drift along the journey of life filled with worry, fear, doubt and selfishness. To help you maintain an awareness of your identity as a member of God’s holy family redeemed in the Blood of Christ I invite you to offer this prayer daily. Allow the words of this prayer to soak deeply into your heart and draw strength from the life and power of the Precious Blood.
Morning Prayer of the Precious Blood. We are all washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb, our sins forgiven, our hearts strengthened, our lives given purpose. Grant to me this day, O saving God, the power of the Precious Blood so that I might see the violence and disharmony around and within me. Move me to bring your life-giving love, your reconciling power to those who do not know you and cannot hear your voice in the events of their lives. May this day be one of praise and honor to the saving Blood of Jesus.
Fr. Angelo Anthony, C.PP.S., is the pastor of the Dayton Region Seven parishes, which include Emmanuel, Holy Trinity and St. Joseph.