“Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us for God with thy blood.” Apocalypse, 5:9.
Some years ago a man suffering from severe hemorrhages was rushed to the hospital. He was losing blood rapidly. A blood transfusion was necessary, but there was no one around to give the blood. After a moment’s hesitation, the doctor himself volunteered: “I will give him some of my blood.”
The nurse thought it would be too much of a strain for the doctor, but he assured her: “Don’t worry, it will do me no harm. Even if it should, what of it? It is a life for which I am taking the risk. I can spare a little of my blood to save this man. Besides, I have met him before. But . . we must hurry. Every minute counts.”
The physician mounted the carriage by the patient’s bed, and placed his right arm near the sick man’s left. The arms were connected by a tube, and in a short time a flow of healthy blood was carried to the patient, who gradually regained color and strength. His pulse became more regular; his breathing, more certain.
The doctor smiled, but not for long. Hardly had the needles and tubes been removed when the doctor himself began to weaken; the color left his face; he fainted. Nothing could revive him. A priest was called to absolve and anoint the dying doctor.
When the patient realized the doctor’s sacrifice, he exclaimed: “What? That doctor died for me? Why, just a few weeks ago I insulted him. I never apologized. How can I ever repay him?”
“You can repay him, at least in part,” he was told, “if you try to live the life he led.”
No doubt that patient lived his days worthy of the doctor who died for him. Are we living worthy of the One who died for us?
Two thousand years ago there was a blood transfusion in which you and I were concerned. Two thousand years ago there was a blood transfusion on Mount Calvary. Christ shed every drop of His Blood to save all of us. Sin had drained our very life blood. Nay, we were dead through sin. Then from heaven came the Divine Physician, the Son of God. He volunteered to give His Blood, every drop of It, to save us.
Seven times that crimson Fluid flowed. At the circumcision, during the agony in the garden, during the scourging at the pillar, when He was crowned with thorns, when He carried His cross, during the crucifixion, and when the lance of the soldier pierced His sacred side—the seven streams that spurted forth to save us, the seven times when Jesus, our Divine Doctor, gave His Blood that we might live.
This Blood of Christ is transfused, poured into our veins, and into our hearts, through Holy Mass. In the sublime Sacrifice Jesus gives His Blood anew; and in every Holy Communion Christ pours His Blood into our veins, giving us new life, new strength, new spirit. We are sick with sin. We need new blood often, constantly. The place to get It is in Holy Mass and Holy Communion.
July is the month of the Precious Blood. The first of July is the feast of the Precious Blood. What better way to keep these days than by attending Mass a little more frequently, and, while at Mass, trying to realize that Jesus is again shedding His Blood for you? What better way to honor that Priceless Lifestream than by receiving It often and thoughtfully in Communion?
The man saved by the doctor in the story I just related, was told to show his gratitude by leading a life like that of the doctor. In a similar way, we can and must repay our Redeemer, at least in part, by leading the life He would have us lead. During the next Mass you attend, during this Mass when the priest holds the chalice up at consecration, look up, look up, at the Blood of Christ, and ask Him to pour It over your sinful heart. Ask Jesus to give you new spiritual life by means of the life-giving Stream from His Heart.
Devotion to the Precious Blood has singular significance in these days that try men’s souls, these days when the bosom of Mother Earth is still splattered with much of the best youthful blood of the world, spilled in a senseless war. All that blood, of whatever nation, was bought with the Blood of Christ. And day by day there is threat of more bloodshed.
Would there not be less senseless spilling of the stream of life, if all men were once again to drink together the Blood that saved them? Would there not be happy camaraderie Catholic, Christ-like fellowship and good will, were all men of all nations to kneel together today to quaff the priceless Potion prepared on Calvary? Would not the Holy Grail, legendary cup with which Joseph of Arimathea caught the Precious Drops from the cross, would it not unite the knights of war against the causes of war?
The world is sick. It needs a blood transfusion. The Divine Physician, infinitely powerful, says:
“Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you.”
It is the Blood of Christ—precious, bountiful, healing—coming to us through Holy Mass and Holy Communion that alone will heal the evils of the world, as It alone will heal the evils of your heart and mine. Amen.
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