Israel ratified its covenant with God in blood, half of which the priest splashed on the altar, the other half on the people. Jesus passed around the wine, which he called,”my blood, the blood of the the covenant.” Like the blood of the old covenant, it was poured out on the altar (of the cross), but unlike the blood of the old covenant, it was drunk by the people.
The proest offered up the “body” of the sacrificial animal as a “peace offering to the Lord.” Jesus gave the disciples bread, which he called my body, but ony after he had broken it.
Jesus thus leads us in the direction of giving ourselves totally for others. He pours out his blood for love of the world; he offers his broken body for love of the world; and then he has us consume these signs of love, to make them part of us so that we will make our own the total commitments to others expressed in the sacrifice of the cross.
Jesus became “mediator of a new covenant” by shedding his own blood. We follow Jesus into this new covenant by offering ourselves up totally for the well-being of our brothers and sisters.
The quest for human freedom and justice is not optional for Catholics, nor is it a small part of the Church’s mission. Participation in the struggle for freedom and justice is a duty for each one of us, as it is a central element of the Church’s mission of redemption and liberation. In the Eucharist we find the source of our deepest commitment to the loving service of our brothers and sisters.