Exodus 24:3-8; Ps. 115:12-13,15-18; Heb. 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16,22-26.

At seven o’clock in the evening on August 18, 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos Aires. He had just finished distributing Holy Communion when a woman came up to tell him that she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back of the church. On going to the spot indicated, Fr. Alejandro saw the defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement that the Host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis), who gave instructions that the Host be professionally photographed. The photos were taken on September 6. They clearly showed that the Host, which had become a fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. For several years the Host remained in the tabernacle, the whole affair being kept a strict secret. But since the Host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal Bergoglio decided to have it scientifically analyzed.

On October 5, 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did not inform the team of scientists where the sample came from.

Dr. Frederic Zugiba, one of the scientists, a well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist, determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Zugiba testified that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves, which is responsible for the contraction of the heart…It is my contention that the heart was alive…when the sample was taken… (cf.

Friends, the first reading tells us about the old blood covenant that God made with Moses and the people of Israel. It was a BLOOD COVENANT, it was no joke at all. But this covenant wasn’t the real deal. It was a symbol of what was to come. This was because the blood in question was that of Bulls. It had to be renewed year after year. However, when Jesus came among us, He brought the REAL DEAL.

This real deal is all over the second reading. This was God Himself in action. It is not only a serious blood covenant, it is a PERFECT BLOOD COVENANT. The sanctuary Jesus enters is divine, the blood is divine; and the covenant itself? There was nothing like it. Never has there been anything like it. Jesus’ death was that important so that our sins could be taken away; the very same sins that made the old blood covenant imperfect.

Friends, when Jesus says in the gospel reading, “this is my body”, and “this is my blood”, He isn’t joking. He tells us that this blood is poured out for the salvation of MANY. Yes! He says that because He knows that faith and salvation is by CHOICE and not by FORCE.

This is GOOD NEWS. It is so good that we traditionally have to take the Body of Christ all over the streets. This tradition is however deferred in Nigeria till the Solemnity of Christ the King, when the rains have gone.

Good morning dear. Happy Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Happy Sunday.