Month of the Precious Blood Eucharistic Readings (Days 11-15)
July 11, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Day 11

‘Who is this that comes from Edom,
   from Bozrah in garments stained crimson?
Who is this so splendidly robed,
   marching in his great might?’ 
‘It is I, announcing vindication,
   mighty to save.’ 
 ‘Why are your robes red,
   and your garments like theirs who tread the wine press?’ 
 ‘I have trodden the wine press alone,
   and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
   and trampled them in my wrath;
their juice spattered on my garments,
   and stained all my robes. 

 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
   and the year for my redeeming work had come. 
 I looked, but there was no helper;
   I stared, but there was no one to sustain me;
so my own arm brought me victory,
   and my wrath sustained me. (Isaiah 63:1-5)

From “The Church’s Year of Grace” by Pius Parsch (+1954)

Let us classify the matter which the liturgy presents on the subject of the Precious Blood under the following headings: a) types from the Old Testament; b) scenes from the life of Jesus; c) symbols.

In a vision the prophet Isaias saw a man treading out grapes (in the Orient, trampling upon grapes in the wine-press was the usual means of extracting the juice). The prophet asked the man: “Why are your garments so red? “The wine-press I have trodden alone,” he answers, “because from the nations there is no one with me.” The trodder of the wine-press is Christ, His garments crimsoned by the Blood of redemption.

From His opened side blood and water flow, symbols of baptism and the Eucharist, symbols of the second Eve, the Church, the Mother of all the living. Through blood and water Christ willed to redeem God’s many children and to lead them to an eternal home.
At Jerusalem a service in Yahweh’s honor is taking place on the Day of Atonement. The high priest is making his annual entrance into the holy of holies to sprinkle the blood of bucks and bulls upon the covenant in expiation for the sins of the people. The Church shows us the higher meaning of this rite. Our divine High Priest Christ on the first Good Friday entered that Holy of Holies which is not made with hands nor sprinkled with the blood of bucks and bulls; there He effects, once and for all, with His own Blood man’s eternal redemption.
Upon the altar is the Lamb, slain yet alive, crimsoned by His own Blood. Round about stand the countless army of the redeemed in garments washed white in the Blood of the Lamb. Hosts of the blessed are singing the new canticle of redemption: “You have redeemed us out of every tribe and tongue and nation by your Blood.”
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” 
– for ever and ever.
 “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might 
-- for ever and ever!’
Faithful God,
whose Son bore our sins in his body on the tree
and gave us this sacrament to show forth his death until he comes:
give us grace to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for he is our salvation, our life and our hope,
who reigns as Lord, now and for ever. Amen. (Church of England)
Day 12
 Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
   and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
   and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.’ 
 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
   and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. 
 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
   and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
   and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
   and they shall never languish again. (Jeremiah 31:10-12)
From Sophia: The Wisdom of God by Sergei Bulgakov (+ 1944)
The change of the holy gifts in the Eucharist denotes the inclusion of the “elements” of this world in the glorified body of Christ, for that body, though now taken from the world and abiding “in the heavens” is no longer limited by time and space and is capable of appearing on every altar everywhere and at all times. This glorified body answers to the human nature in Christ, wholly divinized through its union with the divine in the one person of the Word.
In becoming human Christ forged in his own body a link with the whole world of “flesh”; it all now forms a potential extension of his body. The full significance of this link will be disclosed only at his second and glorious coming; till then it is manifested sacramentally, and, to fleshly eyes, invisibly, in the Eucharist, the primary effect of which, indeed, is to give us a personal union with Christ. But it also signifies the eucharistic presence of Christ in the world.’
This union initiated by the Incarnation and the descent of the Holy Ghost is primarily sacramental. That is to say, it is accomplished primarily by means of the sacraments and above all by means of the Holy Eucharist. Though, of course, the sacraments form the regular channel of communion with God, they are by no means the only channel in such a sense as would exclude all others. We may say that in the present age the Church is the body of Christ precisely in being that eucharistic body on which are bestowed the eucharistic gifts of the Holy Ghost, the giver of life in Christ.
You who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 
-- For he is our peace, who has made both one. 
So that he might create in himself one new humanity 
-- For he is our peace, who has made both one.
Lord of the harvest,
with joy we offer thanksgiving for your love in creation
and shar in the bread and the wine of the kingdom:
by your grace plant within us a reverence for all that you give us
and make us generous and wise stewards
of the good things we enjoy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (Church of England)
Day 13

 The time is surely coming, says the Lord,
   when the one who ploughs shall overtake the one who reaps,
   and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
   and all the hills shall flow with it. 
 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
   and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
   and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. 
 I will plant them upon their land,
   and they shall never again be plucked up
   out of the land that I have given them, says the Lord your God. (Amos 9: 13-15)

From the writings of Adam of Perseigne (+ c. 1221) 

See now that from the body of the Lamb flow the five most needful streams. We have two on the feet, two on the hands, and the fifth flows from the opening in his side. Come, dear friend, let us drink with joy from the Savior’s fount. Although the blood of Christ—which heals by its own worth—redeems and crowns, there is water in it because it cleanses, restores, and cools. It cleanses us from sin, it restores us through hope, it cools us from the heat of lust. But waters are drunk from the Savior’s founts when the streams of grace are drawn by the lips of faith from the wounds of Christ. So the wounds in his feet are fountains, but fountains of oil. The wounds in his hands are balm; the wound in his side is a fountain of wine. 

Oil heals, balm gives forth fragrance, wine inebriates. Oil is mercy, which the guilty one receives at the feet of Jesus when with humility he seeks pardon. Balm flows from the fountains of his hands; it is the precious esteem for virtue which the righteous man takes from the generosity of Christ. From the wine cellar of his pierced side pours forth abundantly the wine of life-giving charity. Surely if Christ is the true vine, if his flesh is the grape of the vine, how will the blood which flows down from his flesh not be the wine? Or how would his bride the Church please her bridegroom if she did not possess in the sacred mysteries this wine coming from Christ himself? This is the wine which makes glad the heart of man (Ps 104:15), for the blood of Christ produces in the soul the intoxication of a sober love. 

But what, dear friend, do we do? Why do we not rush to embrace him as he hangs there since he himself invites us with arms outstretched? Why do we not draw near to kiss him, we who see his calm face exposed and disposed towards us? Why do we not at once suck from his wounds, before which we lie prostrate? 


The mountains shall run with sweet wine,
and all the riverbeds of Judah shall flow with water.
A fountain shall spring from the house of the Lord.
— If anyone is thirsty, come forward
and receive the water of life,
freely given to all who desire it.

The angel showed me the river of the water of life,
bright as crystal,
which flowed from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
— If anyone is thirsty, come forward
and receive the water of life,
freely given to all who desire it.

Lord God, whose Son is the true vine and the source of life,
ever giving himself that the world may live:
may we so receive within ourselves
the power of his death and passion
that, in his saving cup,
we may share his glory and be made perfect in his love;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.  Amen. (Church of England)

Day 14

 Wine is very life to human beings
   if taken in moderation.
What is life to one who is without wine?
   It has been created to make people happy. 
 Wine drunk at the proper time and in moderation
   is rejoicing of heart and gladness of soul. (Ecclesiasticus 31:27-28)
From Adversus haereses by St. Irenaeus of Lyons (+202)
By the very fact that, as we know, the bread is made of innumerable grains of wheat, it is clear that the unity of the peoples is designated. The wheat, after it has been carefully cleansed, is ground to a white mass by the mill; it is then mixed with water, kneaded into a single loaf of bread, and baked. Similarly the various nations which subscribe to one faith make up the one body of Christ; and the Christian peoples, like innumerable grains of wheat, are separated from the idolatrous nations by the cleansing and sifting power of faith, and are gathered into one, while the infidels are rejected like cockle. As the wheat is prepared by the work of the two mill-stones, the Christian populace is purified by the two Testaments. By its inherent sanctity it is restored to the dignity of its primal origins, and by the waters of baptism, or the fire of the Holy Spirit, it is made the body of that eternal bread. Accordingly, to his disciples too he gave this advice, to offer to God the first fruits of his creatures, not that he had need of them, but that they should be neither sterile nor thankless. He took the bread, which comes from creation, and he gave thanks, saying: ‘This is my body.’ And likewise the cup, which comes from the creation to which we belong, he declared it his blood and he taught that it was the new oblation of the new covenant. It is this oblation which the Church has received from the apostles, which she offers to God in the whole world, to him who gives us food, first fruits of his gifts in the new covenant…. For we offer him what is his, proclaiming in harmonious fashion the communion and union of the flesh and the Spirit, for as the bread, which comes from the earth, is no longer ordinary bread, but the Eucharist, comprising two things, one earthly, the other heavenly, thus our bodies which share in the Eucharist, are no longer meant for corruption, since they have the hope of the resurrection….And because we are his members and are nourished by means of his creation — creation which he himself gives us, making the sun rise and the rain fall according to his will, the cup drawn from creation he has declared to be his own blood, by which our blood is strengthened, and the bread, taken from creation, he declares to be his own body, by which our bodies are strengthened.
From your dwelling you water the hills; earth drinks its fill of your gift. —
You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve human needs.
That we may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer our heart; oil, to make us glad
and bread to strengthen our heart. —
You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve human needs,
Father, who through the blood of Jesus your Son, the Lamb sacrificed on the cross, redeemed us, sanctified us, and made us your people; grant that all may accept this gift of your love, celebrate it joyfully in the Spirit, and drink of it in the Eucharistic chalice, the sign of your covenant and blessing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. (C.PP.S. Propers; Feast of the Precious Blood)
Day 15
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ 4And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11)

From The Mass Through the Year by Aemiliana Lohr (+1972)

At Cana God, come in human shape, shows himself as bridegroom…. The theme is not new; in the Old Testament God took the Virgin Israel for his betrothed, and loved her with a bridegroom’s love, although she was faithless to him. Such love as this brought him at last down upon earth, to set her free from the captivity which Satan had imposed upon her. She has found freedom through the sacrifice he makes, through the cleansing his blood gives her; she is joined to him through the pneuma….

We are the Church; we are the Lord’s bride. It is in the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass that he carries on the cleansing of us, and joins us to himself in a union of faithfulness. The altar of his sacrifice is the table of the marriage-feast, and his body the food of us whom he loves. “On what other feast should a meal for guests be held, on what other occasion ought one to give the guests the bread of life which is the bridegroom’s own flesh? .. . He died on the cross, and gave his body to those called into glory; they take him up and consume him daily at his own table. It is from his pierced side that blood flows for us to drink, and to make us forgetful of the many vain things we pursue.” This is the song of a Syrian poet of the fifth century for the marriage- feast of the bridal Church. We experience today what he sang.
‘Thou hast kept the good wine until now.’  In the historical narrative there seems an element of reproach to the bridegroom in these words as they are spoken. But even in the text their deeper allegorical sense lies very close at hand; in the liturgical use it is open. Christ is the bridegroom; the bride, the Church, the soul speaks to him, and her tone is one of thankfulness and the deepest love. It is the good wine thou hast kept till now.  Nations have lived and died; they caught a glimpse of your glory, Lord. They drank the wine of divinity without knowing that they did so, in the words of their thinkers and their wise men, their poets and their visionaries. You made your call to Israel, and declared your will to her through the prophets. Your word was the wine that Israel was to bring to ripeness, she the vineyard, your care and anger, the sun and heat. Jew and pagan had something of your spirit, drank of the wine that is yours, the wine of the life of God. 
But the good wine, the best wine, you kept until now for us who live in the last age; to us you give the word of the gospel, your very self, your deepest Word, the Logos. To us you give the Mysterium of the Church and of her sacrifice; in them the God-life is white-hot. We drink your very blood, and gain increase for this life of yours, and new strength of it. It is this wine which is the pledge of our betrothal with you. The person who drinks of it is one with you, is bride to you, for ever.
A new life dwells in humanity, then; a life of fire, the life of godhead....  A holy drunkenness, the fire of the Spirit, is to be the portion of those who have drunk the wine of Christ; “they are full of new wine” was what the people scoffed, when the apostles began to speak from the enthusiasm of Christ’s wine. Its effects will be made manifest in prophecy and holy teaching, in loving service and mercy shown in a friend’s spirit, in brotherly correction, and careful leadership, in continual prayer and humble lack of trust in self, in one’s own knowledge and ideas. Here is a holy, sober, drunkenness, which puts on fire with the zeal and love for others, compels into God’s service, and his praise, those who are affected by it, as they get up fully satisfied from the table of Christ. This wine gives what other wine takes away: sobriety of mind; and the passion it inspires in deepest measure is a passion for God and his kingdom.
The Lord has given us his love’s drink, the wine of God’s life; we for our part may not shut up our vessels to others. We are compelled to give out this drink, and to let it flow out of us on all who thirst.
Alleluia! for the Lord, our God Almighty, now reigns!
-- for the marriage of the Lamb has come.  
His spouse has prepared herself in fine linen, the just deeds of the saints. 
-- for the marriage of the Lamb has come.  
Loving God,
as a mother feeds her children at the breast
you feed us in this sacrament with the food and drink of eternal life:
help us who have tasted your goodness
to grow in grace within the household of faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Church of England)