His blood be upon us and on our children (Matthew 27:25)
Continued from LAST WEEK
Our land has been desecrated and is in dire need of cleansing. A cleansing that will start by bringing to conscious the mind of the citizens from the seeming generic amnesia, that it is nothing other than blood that course through the veins of the perpetrators and victims of these gruesome killings. The same principle applies to all, so that whether we are white or black, Christians or Muslims, leaders or citizens, we recognise the common fluid coursing through our veins with the same red colour. The leveller in these matters of concern is the effect of the blood of Christ. By the shedding of his blood, every human life takes on a high level of dignity and reverence. No one life is less important than another. An excerpt from the Church’s Year of Grace, by Pius Parsch reads; “the Precious Blood which we worship is the Blood which the Saviour shed for us on Calvary and reassumed at His glorious Resurrection. It is the Blood which courses through the veins of His risen, glorified, living body at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. It is the Blood made present on our altars by the words of Consecration. It is the Blood which merited sanctifying grace for us and through it washes and beautifies our soul and inaugurates the beginning of eternal life in it.”
In the gospel of Matthew, the Jews, during the trial of Jesus, shouted back at Pilate “his blood be upon us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:25) The Jews were not so much concerned about their guilt than the crucifixion of Jesus. They were ready to have his blood on them – literally taking the blame off Pilate and accepting their own part in the death sentence of Jesus. What they intended to be a curse upon themselves, not only for those present but also for us all, was one of great blessing. What was the turning point? The sacrifice of Christ. Could we wish any greater blessing on that crowd than that the blood of Christ should be upon them and upon their children? On the day of Pentecost this year, we were greeted with the news of the massacre of the lay faithful at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state by unknown gunmen. Although that was a sheer act of barbarism carried out from the depths of evil and stark ignorance, intended to be a stinker and leave a bitter taste, we look onto the other side with clear eyes of faith and see the blessing.
The attack happened within the Eucharistic sacrifice where the blood of the victims comingled with the blood of Christ. Once again, in this scenario, the blood of Christ is involved to effect the change from evil consequence to good end. Those men and women – martyred for their belief are washed in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, to merit eternal life.
Continues NEXT WEEK
• Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.