With the weird babydaddy schedule I’m on this week, I don’t know if I will be able to post tomorrow, so I thought I’d knock this one out now. Tomorrow, July 1, is the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord. This feast, which is in some respects the complement to Corpus Christi (in that the Body and Blood of the Lord are present in both sacred Species), is also a particular opportunity for devotion to Our Lord’s Precious Blood that was shed for us on Calvary and made present at every Holy Mass. By following so closely upon the feasts of Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart, we are given such tender proof of Christ’s love for us, and material for contemplation and adoration. This feast always affects me, knowing how much I caused that Blood to be shed.
The Church’s ancient calendar spends three days celebrating the great Saints Peter and Paul. Monday and yesterday, on the vigil and the feast day, the Mass focuses on Saint Peter. Today, Saint Paul, the light to the Gentiles, is particularly remembered. Today’s Epistle, Galatians 1: 11-20, recounts St. Paul’s own transition from observant Jew to faithful Christian, and is a ready metaphor for the the larger transition from the Old to the New Covenant; not only is the Gospel to be preached to the Gentile, but the New Covenant of Christ now supersedes and supplants– in that it fulfills– the Old Covenant of the Law:
For I give you to understand, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For neither did I receive it of man: nor did I learn it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion: how that, beyond measure, I persecuted the church of God and wasted it. And I made progress in the Jew’s religion above many of my equals in my own nation, being more abundantly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased him who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles: immediately I condescended not to flesh and blood. Neither went I to Jerusalem, to the apostles who were before me: but I went into Arabia, and again I returned to Damascus. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem to see Peter: and I tarried with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles I saw none, saving James the brother of the Lord. Now the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I lie not.