Blood has different meanings across different cultures and religions and in the Catholic Faith, the most precious blood of Jesus is a symbol of the ultimate sacrifice. We celebrate the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ every month of July.
What Does the Blood of Jesus Represent?
realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. - 1 Peter 1:18-19
The blood of Jesus is mentioned many times in the Bible and it manifests in many traditions in the Catholic Faith such as in transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ during the celebration of the Eucharist. There are many symbols and meanings associated with the blood of Jesus and one of them is redemption.
We are born with a sinful nature and have fallen short of God’s holy standard. God’s holiness requires our sinful nature to be punished and this punishment comes in the form of eternal death. Nothing we can do can let us earn salvation, even if we comply with the laws of the Old Testament by making animal offerings or even the sacrifice of our own lives.
All this sounds hopeless and depressing but this only makes Jesus Christ’s sacrifice more meaningful. Jesus was sent to the cross in order to take our place. As Catholics, we therefore look upon the blood of Jesus as a symbol of our redemption from the wages of sin.
Jesus Christ came to offer us His own life, the one pure and everlasting sacrifice that can save us from damnation. His blood is powerful enough to forgive and cleanse us from sin. Blood is our life force and Jesus’ blood represents His unconditional love for us. He is giving us His essence so we can share eternity with Him and our Heavenly Father.
How Do Catholics Celebrate the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus?
Catholic doctrine teaches us that the blood of Jesus Christ is part of His sacred humanity. His humanity and blood are worthy of our adoration because these unites Jesus with the Divine Word. We venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Wounds of Our Lord for these same reasons.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. - Matthew 26:26-28
Apart from being a symbol of forgiveness and our cleansing from sin, the blood of Jesus also divinized Mary, the Mother of God. Therefore, anyone who wishes to become a child of God, must also become a child of Mary by receiving the blessed Eucharist which is the body and blood of Christ.
During the month of July, we celebrate the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. Pope Pius IX instituted this celebration in 1849 and it has since been observed around the world for centuries. The feast day offers a great opportunity for us to reflect on what the blood of Jesus means for us in our personal lives and walk of faith.
Our sinful nature has separated us from God’s holy presence and it is only through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that we are washed away from sin and reconciled with our Father. Through Christ, we can finally come boldly into the presence of our Almighty Father to pray and worship Him.
For the month of July, let us do just this and make an effort to start living our lives as though we are worshipping and giving praise to God through our every word, action and thought.
The blood of Christ is also a powerful reminder of the healing power of forgiveness. This month, let us go to confession and ask forgiveness for our sins. Let us have a repentant spirit and resolve to become better versions of ourselves. In the same way, let us also have a heart of forgiveness. Just as God forgave us unconditionally for our transgressions, we must also let go of any resentments and vindictive feelings that we have toward anyone.
How do you plan to celebrate the feast of the most precious blood of Jesus this month?