Feast of the Most Precious Blood
of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Epistle • Hebrews 9:11-15
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.
[St. Paul tells us that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Pontiff and the Mediator of the New Testament. As the High Priest once entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of the victims so, in a more excellent manner, Christ enters into Heaven, the true Holy of Holies, after having shed His own Blood which He offers to God His Father.]
Brethren: Christ being come, a High Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation; neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by His own Blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption.
For if the blood of goats and of oxen and the ashes of a heifer, being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh: how much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who, by the Holy Ghost, offered Himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God? And therefore He is the Mediator of the new Testament: that by means of His death, for the redemption of those transgressions which were under the former Testament, they that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance, in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Gospel • John 19:30-35
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
[One of the soldiers pierced the side of Jesus, and there came forth blood and water.]
At that time, Jesus, when He had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost. Then the Jews (because it was the Parasceve, that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the sabbath-day (for that was a great sabbath-day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers, therefore, came: and they broke the legs of the first and of the other that was crucified with Him.
But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true.