Browsing Pastor's Notes

The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

Take this, all of you, and eat of it, For this is my Body

Take this, and drink from it, for this is the Chalice of my Blood

In advance of the National Eucharistic Congress this July, I’m continuing to look at some of the Scriptural precursors of the Eucharist. There are so many which show God’s Plan from the beginning included the Eucharist.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: They will take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They will consume its meat that same night, eating it roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or even boiled in water, but roasted, with its head and shanks and inner organs. You must not keep any of it beyond the morning; whatever is left over in the morning must be burned up. This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you will eat it in a hurry. It is the Lord’s Passover. For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every firstborn in the land, human being and beast alike, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the Lord! But for you the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thereby, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you. This day will be a day of remembrance for you, which your future generations will celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord; you will celebrate it as a statute forever. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. From the very first day you will have your houses clear of all leaven. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day to the seventh will be cut off from Israel.                                                                                                                         Exodus 12:7-5

This blood marked the home and kept the Angel of Death away. In the reception of the Eucharist – whether from paten or chalice – we receive the full Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus. When the Host or chalice touch your lips, you are marking the entry to your body, which is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, with the Blood of the Lamb. You are being protected from the Angel of Death. Some have also commented that the act of applying the blood of the Exodus lamb to the lintel and doorpost with hyssop to the act of making the Sign of the Cross over our bodies. We reach up to our forehead (as to the lintel) then back down as if to get more Lamb’s blood upon our hyssop then right to left (as door post to door post). It is a pious thought and bodily prayer.

Then Exodus gives instructions on the consumption of the lamb. It is to be roasted not boiled or raw. Roasting an animal meant placing it upon a wooden spit. While Jesus was not burned (thank God!), He was attached to a sort of wooden spit – the Cross. He also sacrificed the whole of Himself – prefigured in the roasting of the lamb whole – not in parts. This also sets forth the prophecy fulfilled on Calvary that “not a bone of it shall be broken” (Jn 19:36, Cf. Ex 12:46; Nm 9:12; Ps 34:21). Jesus was scourged, bloodied, bruised, but still whole – the Whole of Humanity was offered to the Father, just as the whole lamb was sacrificed at the Exodus.

The roasted Lamb was eaten with ‘unleavened bread.’ This is in part was practical. The Jewish People were hurried, and prepared to move, so there was not time for the rising of the bread, but it also shows the need for humanity to away the Rising of the Body in Christ. This is why, even still, in the west, the Church uses unleavened bread to more perfectly reflect the Last Supper Passover of Christ. Yet, in the east, the Church uses substantial bread for the hosts to represent its fulfillment and completion in the Resurrection of Christ. Both speak to the same sacrifice and Paschal Mystery, but highlight different aspects and perspectives. The bitter herbs of the Exodus Passover symbolize the bitterness of the Jewish slavery. It represents the difficulty of the pilgrimage ahead to the Promise Land. It represents the suffering bitterness of the Cross that makes possible paradise. The manner of eating as if ready for travel, for the Eucharist is food for the journey. It is the bread of heaven that sustains us as we pass through the trials of life until the crossing of the river to the Promise Land. At the end of Mass, the congregation is not just sent home, you are sent forth to “Glorify the Lord by your Life”. You are to make the journey in the desert of the world reliant upon the Grace & Goodness of God. This journey towards a land flowing with ‘milk & honey’ is sustained by the Bread of Life, the Eucharist. One must eat to share in this salvation.

Thanks for your patience while we celebrate Mass together in the Gym while work is completed in the church. I realize Mass in a gym is not ideal but I would encourage you to keep coming to Mass and Mass at Holy Family so we can maintain our family connections during this needed and necessary work.


Celebrating 70 years in our church together as the Holy Family of God


Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God.

Holy Family, Gathered around the Lamb of God, Pray for us.


~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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