Precious Blood Here and Now

Everybody know that, during July, the Church reflects especially on the Precious Blood of Christ? Each month of the year has a theme for reflection. July is the month of the Precious Blood.

If I might, I would like to draw a stark contrast between two ways of understanding the world. I don’t intend to be divisive or un-ecumenical. But I think we might profit spiritually by meditating on this contrast.

First, let’s take note of this fact: human beings occupy the world in one way: locally. A human being always occupies a particular place. We may have a ‘globalized’ economy; we may have the world-wide web; we may have Facebook friends in other time zones. But no human being ever has, or ever will, exist in the world without being in a particular place. One particular town, or city, or borough, or farmhouse, or shack, or hut: one place.

tabernacleSo the contrast is this: Everyone, without exception, stands, or sits, or reclines, somewhere. Among all the billions of people, occupying all their particular locations, some of those people believe themselves to be near the Precious Blood of Christ, which brings salvation; some don’t.

And I don’t mean theoretically near, or “spiritually” near His Blood. I mean physically near, as in, “Right now, I stand approximately seven feet away from the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the tabernacle.” Or: “In a few minutes, I will actually hold a chalice full of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in my hands.”

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Precious-Blood-Month Exhortation

Go, make this proclamation, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand.’ (Matthew 10:7)

We rejoice in the cleansing and healing effects of the Precious Blood of Christ. He shed His blood on the cross, at a particular time, in a particular place. But the Blood reaches us, across the globe and through the ages, because our ancestors in the faith, our predecessors in the mission, heeded Christ’s command to go and proclaim the Kingdom of heaven.

chaliceThe Kingdom of heaven is here and now for anyone whose soul has been cleansed and renewed by the Blood of the Lamb. Evil, sin, death, sorrow, darkness—none of these have the last word. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed, has conquered death, and has applied to us His work of atonement.

We priests have the privilege of ministering the Precious Blood at the altar, and in the Confessional, and at the baptismal font. The Lord Himself has made us dispensers of His Precious Blood—literally, in the Holy Mass, and by its spiritual effects in the other sacraments.

But Christ commanded not just priests, but the whole Church to go and proclaim the Kingdom that has been won by the Precious Blood. We priests will happily stand in church baptizing, confessing, and saying Mass for all the converts that our beloved and enterprising lay people can manage to invite in.

For all of us, priests and people, our mission starts with this fundamental act of faith: We believe that the Precious Blood of Christ washes away sin, conquers death, and gives healing and undying life. We believe that Jesus Christ, slain on the cross to atone for all human evil—we believe that He pours out the grace of His blood from a heavenly fountainhead that will never run dry.

He commands us to believe this, and to love others enough to want to share this life with them.

Holy Co-operation!

God is holy. By definition.

The apse wall of Otranto Cathedral holds the skulls of 800 martyrs
What is holy?


What is God?


He is holy.

He is infinitely, terrifyingly holy.

He is won-derfully, magni-ficently holy.

We Christians aspire to holiness. We desire the holiness of God. We want to share in His glory. We want to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy.

Are we presumptuous? After all, how can we be holy—we who subsist on the flesh of dead animals, and sometimes produce bad smells and bad words, and spend a lot of time thinking about ice cream and professional sports and a lot of other things that don’t exactly pertain to holiness? How can we hope to be holy?

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Holy Week


Who made this week holy?

We human beings do not have the authority to consecrate a week.

Human authorities can designate federal holidays, Cherry Blossom festivals, tax-due dates, and such things. But no government can make a week—or even a day—holy.

It is not easy for us human beings even to know when Holy Week is. Sometimes it starts in March, sometimes in April. The ancient Romans invented the months. But Holy Week is more primordial than the months.


God made Holy Week. He sanctified this particular week not once, not twice, but three times.

The Lord first sanctified this week when He made the world. Holy Week is when God originally created everything.

Then He sanctified this week again when He led His people out of slavery. This is the week when the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites. It is the week when Moses led them out of Egypt, and the Red Sea parted before them.

vatican-red-seaFinally, the Lord came in the flesh and sanctified this week a third time.

He went to Jerusalem to offer His life as a sacrifice. He consecrated this week forever by sprinkling it with His own Blood.