Essays/Articles and Scriptural Studies
THE COLLECTS OF THE ROMAN MISSAL - SUNDAY, JULY 1st, 2018 A.D.: PRECIOUS BLOOD
For today’s meditation on the Collects of the Roman Missal, we consider the Post-Communion Collect for the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus (Misssale Romanum 1962). Below is the English translation of this prayer in the Campion Missal and Hymnal:
“Admitted to the sacred table, O Lord, we have drawn water in gladness from the fountain of the Savior; may His Blood, we beseech Thee, become unto us a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth, etc. Amen.”
This Post-Communion Collect contains two wonderful scriptural allusions. Firstly, we have the messianic prophecy of Is. 12:3: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (RSV). This text fittingly leads us back to today's Gospel (Jn. 19:30- 35), where the Blood and Water flowing from Our Lord’s pierced Sacred Heart are the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist (cf. St. John Chrysostom, Catecheses 3; Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1067).
The second part of this prayer quotes Our Lord in John 4:14: “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (RSV). Here, Jesus speaks of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and the share He grants us in divine life. This is certainly one of the principal realities of Holy Communion, as we saw in the Post-Communion Collect from Pentecost Sunday a few weeks ago.
Indeed, our reception of the Blood of Christ bears fruit in a beautiful differentiation of graces. For this, we turn to the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. Among its twenty-four invocations, the following four are particularly noteworthy:
“Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.” Quoting Heb. 9:22, this invocation reminds that Christ is the only way to the Father (cf. Jn. 14:6; CDF, Dominus Iesus). The atonement for all human sin effected by Christ’s shed Blood is a fundamental doctrine that cannot be trifled with in this age of relativistic pluralism. All of us need to be cleansed in the Precious Blood of Jesus.
“Blood of Jesus, Victor over demons, save us.” As St. John Chrysostom teaches us, just as the blood of the Passover Lamb saved the ancient Israelites from the Angel of Death, so too, the Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist delivers and protects us from the Evil One (cf. St. John Chrysostom, Catecheses 3). Catholics must not be obsessed with the devil by using aggressive prayer tactics. Rather, we must simply take full advantage of the means of grace in Christ’s Church for protection and salvation, as well as maintaining a regular prayer life marked especially by Marian devotion.
“Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins, save us.” Jesus can and does save us from impurity, whatever our state in life. We observe this truth especially in the lives of the saints. Cultivating innocence of life is integral to our Baptism, as Sts. Peter and Paul clearly teach us (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Phil. 2:15, 1 Thes. 4:1-8, Heb. 10:19 -22, 1 Pet. 1:13-19, 4:1-5- Please read these rich passages). The world is utterly obdurate in its belief that impurity is integral to a normal and happy life, and yet the falsehood of this view is acutely apparent in many ways, including the news. The Precious Blood of Christ transforms the human heart and propels it forward in holiness of life.
“Blood of Christ, freeing souls from Purgatory, save us.” One can never say enough about the salutary effects of the Mass for the souls of the faithful departed. Additionally, our ability to unite our good works and sufferings to the mediating Blood of Christ can bring great grace to these Holy Souls.(David Allen)
|Mr. David Allen, M.T.S., is the lay Pastoral Associate for our parish of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes.