Drinking the Blood of Christ - Bishop Barron

Drinking the Blood of Christ - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon
Posted on 03/17/2024
Bishop Barron

Friends, on this Fifth Sunday of Lent, we hear one of the most pivotal passages in the Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:31. Jeremiah knew the long Israelite history of covenant and blood sacrifice, but he prophesies, “The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” This passage will find its fulfillment about six centuries later at a Passover supper, where a young rabbi—the covenant in person—offers his own lifeblood for his people to drink.

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

John 12:20–33

Friends, our Gospel for today contains one of the most beautiful and terrible summations of the Christian message: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

Now this one upon whom the crowds had pinned their hopes is speaking of falling to the earth and dying. And then it gets stranger. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for life eternal.” Come again?!

Just when we are raising you up, you’re talking about falling down; just when we are showing you that your life has come to its fulfillment, you’re talking about hating this life.

To understand what all this means, we should go back to the grain of wheat that falls to the earth. A seed’s life is inside, yes, but it’s a life that grows by being given away and mixing with the soil around it. It has to crack open, to be destroyed.

Jesus’ sign is the sign of the cross—the death that leads to transfiguration.