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Hebrews 9:19-23
Thursday, June 06 2013

Cup of the New Covenant...

In today's verse, we see a reflection of the Last Supper and our Holy Mass:

When every commandment had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves (and goats), together with water and crimson wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is 'the blood of the covenant which God has enjoined upon you.'" ...According to the law almost everything is purified by blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore, it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified by these rites, but the heavenly things themselves by better sacrifices than these.  -Hebrews 9:19-23 NAB

It is not difficult to see how the Old Testament connects to the new.  In this verse, the author of Hebrews quotes Exodus 24:8, where Moses states:

"This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his." -Exodus 24:8, NAB

Jesus tells us something similar at the Last Supper:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you." -Luke 22:20, NAB

We reflect back on both of these rituals during Mass, as our priests in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) say the Words of Consecration:

"Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me." -The Roman Missal

These words connect us from Moses to Jesus to Mass today.  Moses offered blood as an offering on behalf of the people.  Jesus offered His blood on the cross for the same thing.  Today, we honor Christ's sacrifice through our regular worship of Him.

The cup of the New Covenant is filled with more than wine.  It is filled with the love of God who gave His Son so that we might be saved.

 

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