The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord I confess that of the feasts honoring Our Lord Jesus Christ, none speaks to me and impresses me more than the Feast of the Most Precious Blood.
Jesus Christ - July 1
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Of course, such impressions are personal and depend upon the way grace touches each person, but with me it is this way. This feast impresses me and I have a great personal inclination to the devotion of the Most Precious Blood. The reasons follow.
What blood is & signifies
First, let us consider well what blood is and what bƖσσdshɛd signifies for us to understand the meaning of the effusion of the Precious Blood of Christ.
bƖσσdshɛd speaks of violence, such as Cain killing Abel
We all know that the blood is an important part of our body and an essential element of our person. Therefore, we owe the same adoration to the Blood of Christ that we owe to Christ Himself.
Blood flows inside our body, which is its natural condition and place. Thus, every effusion of blood, everything that makes the blood issue from our body, has a catastrophic character. There are illnesses that announce themselves by a loss of blood: A sign of pleurisy, for example, is when a person spits up blood. It signifies a disaster inside the body and is an alarm bell for us to pay attention because the internal system is not in good condition.
bƖσσdshɛd speaks to us of violence, of crime. It is impossible to speak of bƖσσdshɛd without thinking of the blood of Abel, murdered by his brother Cain. Abel's blood, according to the Scripture, rose to Heaven calling for vengeance.
Blood spilling on the ground — gushing from the body by a profound dilaceration of the being — gives us the idea of something unjust and iniquitous, representing a great perturbation of order, clamoring to God for redress.
A sign of the mystery of iniquity
When we think of the infinitely Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ — that Blood generated in the womb of Our Lady, the Blood of David, a Blood hypostatically united to the Second Divine Person — we should consider that His Blood symbolized all the dignity of His Body, more or less like the juice of the grape represents what is best in it.
That Blood, which fell to the ground by a series of abominable acts of violence — the Flagellation, the Crowing of Thorns, the Cross borne on His shoulders, the Crucifixion and torments of every kind — speaks of human wickedness and is a manifestation of the mystery of iniquity.
Our Lord's blood spilled at the fierce flagellation
It is so great a manifestation of iniquity that it acts as a reminder for us to understand all that decadent human nature — above all when directed by the Devil - is capable of doing: Man will go to the extreme of evil and not back down from anything.
Therefore, in the face of evil we must have every possible suspicion; we must exercise the greatest vigilance. This is what the precept "watch and pray" means. Evil is capable of everything, of the worst infamies. We should employ against evil every way possible that is in accordance with the Law of God to deter it. From this perspective, every nap in the face of evil, every stupid optimism and every postponement of the fight becomes a crime.
This is a very unpleasant thought for our natural tendency to be agreeable and sweet, and an enemy of division. But, we should meditate on the Precious Blood and see to what extreme the ʀɛʋօʟutιօn is willing to go. It does not recede before anything. It is evident that we are already before a manifestation of the ʀɛʋօʟutιօn — the worst one of them all — when we consider the one that went against the Man-God.
The mercy of Our Lord for us
Considering the Blood that Our Lord shed, it is important to note the mercy of God who desired it to flow with an unheard of abundance. Every drop of Blood in the Body of Our Lord was shed to show that He gave everything, moved by His intense desire to save us.
He could have achieved the Redemption with just one drop of His Blood, but He shed all the Blood He had — to the point that, with the spear of Longinus, the last drops of Blood shed were mixed with water. He desired that nothing from His Blood should be spared to redeem us.
This abundance of Blood and of suffering, this full surrender of Himself, remind us of these words of Our Lord: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (Jn 15:13) Now then, on this feast of the Precious Blood these words of the Gospel take on a special significance.
His last drop of Precious Blood flowed with water when Longinus pierced His Heart with a lance
He not only gave His life for us, but He wanted to suffer every physical and moral suffering. Each drop of Blood that fell from His Body was a drop of life that led to death. He wanted to pass through all those small deaths to show to what point He was our Friend.
From this outpouring comes, on one hand, the trust we should have in His mercy. Since He did so much for us, enveloping us in His Blood and presenting us to the Eternal Father to ask forgiveness for our sins, we should also plead for forgiveness.
On the other hand, it shows us how horrible the eternal destiny of the reprobates is. To prevent us from this fate, He went to that extreme point of suffering. We should see the terribleness of that evil He wanted us to avoid. So then, considering the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we should measure the bottomless depth of Hell.
The tears of Our Lady & Holy Eucharist
It is impossible to deal with this subject without also considering, first, the tears Our Lady shed along with the Blood of Christ; and second, the Holy Eucharist.
Our Lord did not want Our Lady to shed one single drop of her blood. He permitted everything to be done against Him, but did not allow the powers of evil to touch His Immaculate Mother with even a fingertip.
She did not endure any physical torment, but Our Lady shed another type of blood, her tears. We can say that tears are the blood of the soul. She suffered in her soul all the pain of His Passion and Death. The tears of Mary were shed as the first tribute of Christendom to complete what God desired be completed by the sufferings of the faithful in His Passion so that a great number of souls could be saved.
The tears of Our Lady, the blood of her soul, shed for the salvation of mankind
Finally, we must think of the Holy Eucharist. The Blood of Christ that was shed along the road of the Way of the Cross, in Pilate's Praetorium, and from the heights of Calvary is entirely present in the holy Host.
Many of us perhaps have received the Blood of Christ today or yesterday. When we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ we should remember that this Precious Blood shed for us is inside us, laying claim to Heaven's mercy for us instead of vengeance, like the blood of Abel. We should receive the Holy Eucharist with great confidence and much joy to receive the Blood of Christ that ascends to Heaven claiming mercy for us.
"Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer." St. Francis of Assisi