Today we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Gospels record only one Passover that Jesus celebrated with his disciples which is known as the Last Supper. As a Jew, Jesus must have definitely kept the Passover during his hidden life and during the years of his public ministry.
During the Last Supper Jesus transformed the bread into his body, “Take; this is my body.” But over the cup Jesus brought in the aspect of the covenant, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” In the same context Luke says, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
It is striking that Jesus brought the idea of the covenant into the Eucharist. In the old covenant it was blood of animals that was offered, but in the Eucharist which is the New Covenant, Jesus offers his own blood for the salvation of all. The First Reading tells us that in response to the people’s willingness to accept God’s will, Moses writes down the stipulations. After reading “the book of the covenant” he sprinkles the people with the blood of the slaughtered animals. For Israel blood is life. The sprinkled blood joins them to the blood splashed on the altar, which symbolizes God. A union has been created from this blood relationship. However, the terms for preserving that relationship are also spelled out. By living up to those terms Israel is assured of its ongoing union with God.