March 17, 2007

In practice and in attitude, are we forgetting that the Eucharist is a covenant?

[I originally posted this in March 2006. I am repeating it now following on the Pope's new exhortation concerning the Eucharist, Sacramentum Caritatis.]

Our Lord gave us his Eucharist by referring to his Blood as "the Blood of the new and everlasting Covenant." With that declaration he echoes Moses' words in ratifying the ancient Mt. Sinai Covenant. "Behold the blood of the Covenant!" [Exodus 24:8]

The Mt. Sinai Covenant took place with God DEMANDING reverence for his untouchably holy mountain at whose foot he decreed an altar of piled stones unmarked by human tools.

The Mt. Sinai Covenant— just as any covenant— is a life-and-death mutual transaction, by which both parties in the Covenant vow to lay their lives on the line for each other.

By our casual liturgical manners today, we fail to let the New and Everlasting Covenant speak of the implicit, solemn and dangerous demand Christ is requiring of us by giving us his Eucharist AS a covenant.

We do not "receive" the Eucharist with right intention if we fail to understand that it is a COVENANT, that is, a binding two-way "faithful-unto-death" vow. One never “receives” a covenant. A covenant is always agreed to and entered.

ALL SOLEMNITY is owed to the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist, the Mass, simply by the very nature of a covenant.


Blogger faithemmanuel said...

Beautiful, thankyou. Would you mind reading our post on the Eucharist and commenting?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...


2:32 PM  
Blogger faithemmanuel said...

As the firepot and torch passed between the severed animals may I be likewise sliced in two should The Eucharist pass through me with a betraying soul.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

The Hebrew verb for "setting up" or "establishing" a covenant is the word for "cut". The Hebrew expression is "to cut a covenant"-- since a covenant is always "set up" by cutting an animal, and draining its lifeblood. It is as if to say, "If one of us is unfaithful to the covenant that we have cut between us, the other has the right to do to him what we have together done to this animal." The two parties in the covenant then eat a "communion" by sharing in the meat of the animal. In the case of God and Israel, part of the animal's blood was poured "onto God"-- onto his altar-- and part was sprinkled onto the people. Then, a part of the communion sacrifice (a part of the animal) was burnt on the altar for God, and the remainder was cooked elsewhere for the people to eat.

3:29 PM  
Blogger faithemmanuel said...

The link is


P.S. Why are you on the computer right now fr. when I should be deep in prayer?

4:22 PM  
Blogger Mark Cephas Tan said...

Yes, the Eucharist is the new and everlasting covenant. Every time the Sacrifice of the Mass is offerred, every time the covenant between God and Man is renewed! Bravo. Thx for reminding.

1:56 AM  

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