The Blood of Christ

The Blood of Christ

Justin Martyr (c. 100-165) says: “The Eucharist is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus.”

The crucifix above the altar in the chapel at Wildbad-Kreuth, Bavaria is remarkable for indicating the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus during the celebration of the Mass. The picture quality is poor, but if one looks closely you will see —

The precious blood pours forth from the wounds of Christ and is caught in the chalices by the angels. There are four angels ministering to the wounds. Mary and John behold the sacrifice from below.

As the priest elevates the chalice with the precious blood following the consecration, the action of the Mass merges with the drama of the crucifixion. The crucifix is very conducive to a pious appreciation of the central action of the Mass.

Benedict XVI, the Bavarian Pope, has stressed the continuity between the Council of Trent and Vatican II. According to the teaching of the Church, as stated at Vatican II 

At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity,  a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.  Sacrosanctum concilium §47

And from Trent:

We therefore confess that the Sacrifice of the Mass is and ought to be considered one and the same Sacrifice as that of the cross, for the victim is one and the same, namely, Christ our Lord, who offered Himself, once only, a bloody Sacrifice on the altar of the cross. The bloody and unbloody victim are not two, but one victim only, whose Sacrifice is daily renewed in the Eucharist, in obedience to the command of our Lord: Do this for a commemoration of me. The priest is also one and the same, Christ the Lord; for the ministers who offer Sacrifice, consecrate the holy mysteries, not in their own person, but in that of Christ, as the words of consecration itself show, for the priest does not say: This is the body of Christ, but, This is my body; and thus, acting in the Person of Christ the Lord, he changes the substance of the bread and wine into the true substance of His body and blood.


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