January 29, 2009

The Veil

In these days when we have been reading the letter to the Hebrews at weekday Masses, I have to admit that my fascination with the "letter" has been renewed. If I had the same Mass each day, I might have even tried to preach it straight through. Today's passage is almost overwhelming:

Brothers and sisters:
Since through the Blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,”
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.


I'm amazed by this idea of the flesh of Christ as a "veil." It is the veil, perhaps, between heaven and earth, between the human and divine united in his Person. When this veil is torn upon the Cross, the perfect delight and blessing pour out upon the world in the form of the Lord's Precious Blood. Conversely, we are given the opportunity to enter into the divine realm by crawling into the entrances that the wounds of Christ become. "Within thy wounds hide me," prays the Anima Christi. The Lord's Passion and death break the veil between human and divine and offer us the opportunity to share in the divinity which Christ humbled to share in our humanity.

In this spirit I offered the votive Mass of Christ the High Priest this morning, with the preface of the Holy Eucharist I:

As we eat his body which he gave for us,
we grow in strength.
As we drink his blood which he poured out for us,
we are washed clean.

1 comment:

Pia said...

This is what Pio was privy to. Is it any wonder his Masses lasted hours?