Eucharistic Readings for the Month of the Precious Blood (Days 22-26)
July 22, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 22
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19: 28-30)

From the Sitio of  Mother Catherine Aurelia (+1905)

Come and drink of the chalice the Lord the Lord offers you; it is full of so delicious a draught that once you have touched it to your lips you will want to drain the cup. Come; here you will find the way that leads to true sorrow of soul, to the holy anguish of zeal which is no longer a penance but a grace. Come, come to rest on the sacred tree of the Cross; come, under its crimsoned boughs, take your delight and feed on its fruit; come and hide from the pursuit of the enemy of salvation; come and see from experience how sweet and light is the Lord’s yoke. … always be seen on the summit of the holy mountain holding in [your] hands the chalice of salvation and uniting [your] voices to that of the Precious Blood in order to beg grace and pardon for [yourselves] and all people. At the sight of this striking sign of the inexpressible love of his Word made flesh, the heart of our Father who is in heaven will be touched and the waves of his mercy will flow over every point of the globe.
Love! Oh, Love! That is the divine seed which produced the fruit of the Cross. It is love that burdened Jesus with the wood of sacrifice and gave Him the strength to fly to the holy mountain. Yes, it is love that urged him to immolate himself for us. It is love that made of him the King of martyrs. The life of Christ was one perpetual act of love. In his Mother’s womb, in the crib at Bethlehem, at Nazareth, on the bloody mountain, Jesus offered to his Father sacrifices of love.  Now, on the altar, the new Calvary to which love enchains him, he immolates himself anew each day; he lances darts of fire on just souls to kindle in them the pure flame that consumes his heart, and on sinners to touch them, convert them, and draw them to the repentance of love.
GOD IS LOVE. He will forget the depth of our misery; he will bind us to his altar with unbreakable bonds. He will unite our will to his adorable will, merge our feeling with his own; he will transform in us everything opposed to the holiness of our state and with the burning seraphim permit us to offer perpetual homage of adoration to the chalice of his Blood. 
When the soldiers came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers opened his side with a lance,
 -- and immediately there came out blood and water. 
For these things came to pass that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of him shall you break.” 
-- and immediately there came out blood and water.
Almighty God,
you have given your only Son to be for us
both a sacrifice for sin
and also an example of godly life:
give us grace
that we may always most thankfully receive
his inestimable gifts,
and also daily endeavor
to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (Church of England)
Day 23
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. (Luke 24: 28-31)
From his Parochial and Plain Sermons by St. John Henry Newman (+ 1890)
Observe what was the nature of His presence in the Church after His Resurrection. It was this, that He came and went as He pleased; that material substances, such as the fastened doors, were no impediments to His coming; and that when He was present His disciples did not, as a matter of course, know Him. St. Mark says He appeared to the two disciples who were going into the country, to Emmaus, "in another form." St. Luke, who gives the account more at length, says, that while He talked with them their heart burned within them. And it is worth remarking, that the two disciples do not seem to have been conscious of this at the time, but on looking back, they recollected that as having been, which did not strike them while it was. "Did not," they say, "did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?" But at the time, their hearts seem to have been holden (if we may use the expression) as well as their eyes. They were receiving impressions, but could not realize to themselves that they were receiving them; afterwards, however, they became aware of what had been. Let us observe, too, when it was that their eyes were opened; here we are suddenly introduced to the highest and most solemn Ordinance of the Gospel, for it was when He consecrated and brake the Bread that their eyes were opened. There is evidently a stress laid on this, for presently St. Luke sums up his account of the gracious occurrence with an allusion to it in particular; "They told what things were done in the way, and how He was known of them in breaking of bread." For so it was ordained, that Christ should not be both seen and known at once; first He was seen, then He was known. Only by faith is He known to be present; He is not recognized by sight. When He opened His disciples' eyes, He at once vanished. He removed His visible presence, and left but a memorial of Himself. He vanished from sight that He might be present in a sacrament; and in order to connect His visible presence with His presence invisible, He for one instant manifested Himself to their open eyes; manifested Himself, if I may so speak, while He passed from His hiding-place of sight without knowledge, to that of knowledge without sight.
Christ has promised He will be with us to the end,—with us, not only as He is in the unity of the Father and the Son, not in the Omnipresence of the Divine Nature, but personally, as the Christ, as God and man; not present with us locally and sensibly, but still really, in our hearts and to our faith. And it is by the Holy Ghost that this gracious communion is effected. How He effects it we know not; in what precisely it consists we know not. We see Him not; but we are to believe that we possess Him,—that we have been brought under the virtue of His healing hand, of His life-giving breath, of the manna flowing from His lips, and of the blood issuing from His side. And hereafter, on looking back, we shall be conscious that we have been thus favoured. Such is the Day of the Lord in which we find ourselves, as if in fulfilment of the words of the prophet, "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee. And it shall come to pass in that Day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light." [Zech. xiv. 5-7.] Nay, even before the end comes, Christians, on looking back on years past, will feel, at least in a degree, that Christ has been with them, though they knew it not, only believed it, at the time. They will even recollect then the burning of their hearts. Nay, though they seemed not even to believe any thing at the time, yet afterwards, if they have come to Him in sincerity, they will experience a sort of heavenly fragrance and savour of immortality, when they least expect it, rising upon their minds, as if in token that God has been with them, and investing all that has taken place, which before seemed to them but earthly, with beams of glory. And this is true, in one sense, of all the rites and ordinances of the Church, of all providences that happen to us; that, on looking back on them, though they seemed without meaning at the time, elicited no strong feeling, or were even painful and distasteful, yet if we come to them and submit to them in faith, they are afterwards transfigured, and we feel that it has been good for us to be there; and we have a testimony, as a reward of our obedience, that Christ has fulfilled His promise, and, as He said, is here through the Spirit, though He be with the Father.


Know that in this bread is the body of Christ which hung upon the cross, and in this cup, the blood of Christ which flowed from his side. Take, therefore, and eat his body; take and drink his blood, 
– and you will become members of his body. 
Eat this sacred food, so that your bond of unity with Christ may never be broken. Drink this sacred blood, the price he paid for you, so that you may never lose heart because of your sinfulness. 
– and you will become members of his body.
Living God,
your Son made himself known to his disciples
in the breaking of bread:
open the eyes of our faith,
that we may see him in all his redeeming work;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen. (Church of England)
Day 24  
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.  When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. (John 21: 4-14)
From Christ the Life of the Soul by Bl. Columba Marmion (+ 1923)
The Eucharistic food, instead of being transformed into the one who takes it, transforms him into Itself.
How is this spiritual transformation brought about? In receiving Jesus Christ, we receive Him wholly: His Body, His Blood, His Soul, His Humanity, His Divinity. Christ makes us sharers of His thoughts, and His sentiments; He communicates His virtues to us, but above all, He enkindles in us the fire that He came to cast upon earth, the fire of love, of charity: that is the result of this transformation produced by the Eucharist. “The efficacy of this Sacrament ”, writes St. Thomas, “is to work a certain transformation of ourselves into Christ, by means of charity. And that is the fruit proper to It... the property of charity is to transform the one who loves into the object of his love”. That is to say, that the coming of Christ in us tends, of its nature, to establish between His thoughts and ours, between His sentiments and our sentiments, between His Will and our will, such an exchange, such a correspondence and similitude that we have no other thoughts, no other sentiments, no other will than those of Christ: Hoc enim sentite in vobis, quod et im Christo Jesu. And this through love.  Love yields our will to Christ, and through it, all our being, all our energies ; and because love thus yields up the whole person, it is the means of our supernatural transformation and growth. St. John has well said: “He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him.”  
Without this, there is no real “communion.” Without this, we receive Christ with the lips, it is  true, but He means us to be united to Him with mind and heart and will and all our soul, so that we may share His Divine life as far as this is  possible here below, and so that, by the faith we have in Him, by the love we bear towards Him, it may be really His life, and no longer our ego that is the principle of our life. 
Do not let us forget that Christ is ever living, ever acting. In coming to us He unites our members to His own; He purifies, He uplifts, He sanctifies, He transforms, as it were, all our faculties, so that, to borrow the beautiful thought of an ancient author, we love God with the Heart of Christ, we praise God with the life of Christ, we live by His life. The Divine Presence of Jesus and His sanctifying virtue penetrate our whole being, both body and soul, with all their powers, so intimately, that we become “other Christs.”
Such is the truly sublime culmination of this union with Christ in the Eucharist which each Communion tends to make us realize ever more perfectly. If we but knew the gift of God!
Do not let us lose sight of the fact that Communion is not a human invention, but a divine Sacrament instituted by Eternal Wisdom. Now it belongs to wisdom to proportion the means to the end. If, then, Our Divine Savior instituted the Eucharist in order to unite Himself to us and make us live by His life, we may be assured that the Sacrament contains all that is needful to bring about this union and that to a supreme degree. In this marvelous invention are hidden virtualities of incomparable efficacy to produce in us a divine transformation.
To know it we have only to consider the very nature of the Sacrament.  It is a Food which is to maintain the life of the soul and strengthen union.

Doubtless, the act itself of Communion is transitory, but the effect it produces, union with Christ the life of the soul, is, of its nature, permanent; it lasts as long and in the same measure as we wish. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of life only because it is the Sacrament of union; we must abide in Jesus and Jesus in us. Do not let us, then, in the course of the day, diminish by our levity, our dissipation, our curiosity, vanity and self-seeking, the fruit of the Eucharistic reception and union. It is a Living Bread, a Bread of life, a Bread which makes us live, that we have received. The works we ought to accomplish are the works of life, the works of a child of God, after having been nourished every day with this Divine Bread in order to be transformed into Christ.

V. When He was about to pass from the world to the Father, in memory of His death, Jesus * instituted the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. V. Giving His Body as food, and His Blood as drink, He said, “Do this in memory of me.” He instituted….
God of truth,
we have seen with our eyes
and touched with our hands the bread of life:
strengthen our faith
that we may grow in love for you and for each other;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (Church of England)

Day 25

How is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 
 “In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams. 
 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
     and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:8-18)

From The Mysteries of Christianity by Matthias Scheeben
In the Godhead the mutual love of the Son and the Father pours itself out in the production of the Holy Spirit, who issues from their common heart, in whom both surrender their heart’s blood, and to whom they give themselves as the pledge of their infinite love. In order worthily to represent this infinitely perfect surrender to His Father, the Logos wished in His humanity to pour forth His blood from His heart to the last drop, that blood in which and through which the Holy Spirit gave life to His humanity, the blood that was pervaded, sanctified, and scented with heavenly loveliness, and so ascended to God with such pleasing fragrance. The Holy Spirit Himself is portrayed as the agent of this sacrifice. He is the agent in this sense, that in His capacity of amor sacerdos He urges on the God-man to His sacrifice, and brings the oblation itself into the presence of the Father, uniting it to the eternal homage of love, which is He Himself.
Since the Holy Spirit proceeds from the love of the Father for the Son, and through the Son is to be poured out over the whole world, nothing is more appropriate than that the Son in His humanity, as the head of all creatures, should represent and effect this outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the outpouring of His blood, and that this latter outpouring should become the real sacrament of the other outpouring. Is not the shedding of the blood of Christ’s heart the truest pledge that He and His Father will, in their own Spirit, share with us the innermost character, so to speak, of their divinity?
Is not the blood with its purifying, warming, life-giving energy the sacrament of the corresponding activities of the Holy Spirit? And is not the mystical body and corporal bride of the God-man formed from the blood of Christ’s heart by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him, just as the Spirit of the Father and the Son and their partner in love springs forth from their divine heart? At bottom, the heart’s blood of Christ is the bond between God and the world, the bond in which heaven and earth are brought together, just as in the Trinity the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of the mutual surrender of the Father and the Son, is the eternal bond which joins these two persons with each other and with creatures.
This is the one who came in water and blood, Jesus Christ
– not in water only, but in water and blood. 
It is the Spirit who gives testimony, because the Spirit is truth
– not in water only, but in water and blood.
O God, our life, our strength, our food,
we give you thanks for sustaining us
with the body and blood of your Son.
By your Holy Spirit, enliven us to be his body in the world,
so that more and more we will give you praise
and serve your earth and its many peoples,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (Evangelical Lutheran Worship; 2006)

Day 26

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
(Option 1) From Christianity and Evolution by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (+1955)
When Christ descends sacramentally into each one of his faithful it is not simply in order to commune with him; it is in order to join him, physically, a little more closely to himself and to all the rest of the faithful in the growing unity of the world. When, through the priest, Christ says,’Hoc est corpus meum, ‘This is my body’, the words reach out infinitely far beyond the morsel of bread over which they are pronounced: they bring the entire mystical body into being. The priestly act extends beyond the transubstantiated Host to the cosmos itself, which, century after century, is gradually being transformed by the Incarnation, itself never complete. From age to age, there is but one single mass in the world: the true Host, the total Host, is the universe which is continually being more intimately penetrated and vivified by Christ. From the most distant origin of things until their unforeseeable consummation, through the countless convulsions of boundless space, the whole of nature is slowly and irresistibly undergoing the supreme consecration. Fundamentally—since all time and for ever-but one single thing is being made in creation: the body of Christ….
In the whole universe, as on earth, there is a before the Incarnation and an after. For Christ’s work of divinization to spread over the universe, it is sufficient to assume that God has raised up on each thinking planet (and continues to do so until the end) prophets and priests to whom knowledge of the redemptive Incarnation has been revealed and its grace communicated. Just like Melchizedek, a priest risen from the directly chosen tribe, they have participated, or will participate, within the unfolding of space-time, in the priesthood of the Incarnate Word; receiving the power to celebrate his sacrifice, to consecrate the Host and to administer the eucharist and the sacraments, either in prefiguration (as, on earth, before the Incarnation), or as a continuation of the Last Supper.
For the universe is so perfectly one that the Son of God has only to enter into it once to occupy and permeate it in its entirety with his filiating grace.
By taking a human nature, the Word was “cosmified.” He had to be born but once of the Virgin Mary to make his own and divinize the whole of creation. Just as Christ’s birth is cosmic, so are his passion and death. “Christ being raised from the dead will never die again’ (Romans 6:9) because the mysteries of Christ embrace, in their extension and their perfection, the whole development of the world which is strictly one.
(Option 2). From the The Mass On The World by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (+1955)
This bread, our toil, is of itself, I know, but an immense fragmentation; this wine, our pain, is no more, I know, than a draught that dissolves. Yet in the very depths of this formless mass you have implanted — and this I am sure of, for I sense it — a desire, irresistible, hallowing, which makes us cry out, believer and unbeliever alike: ‘Lord, make us one.’
Do you now therefore, speaking through my lips, pronounce over this earthly travail your twofold efficacious word: the word without which all that our wisdom and our experience have built up must totter and crumble — the word through which all our most far-reaching speculations and our encounter with the universe are come together into a unity. Over every living thing which is to spring up, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day say again the words: This is my Body. And over every death-force which waits in readiness to corrode, to wither, to cut down, speak again your commanding words which express the supreme mystery of faith: This is my Blood.
In the new humanity which is begotten today the Word prolongs the unending act of his own birth; and by virtue of his immersion in the world’s womb the great waters of the kingdom of matter have, without even a ripple, been endued with life. No visible tremor marks this inexpressible transformation; and yet, mysteriously and in very truth, at the touch of the supersubstantial Word the immense host which is the universe is made flesh. Through your own incarnation, my God, all matter is henceforth incarnate.
Grant, Lord, that your descent into the universal Species may not be for me just something loved and cherished, like the fruit of some philosophical speculation, but may become for me truly a real Presence. Whether we like it or not by power and by right you are incarnate in the world, and we are all of us dependent upon you. But in fact you are far, and how far, from being equally close to us all. We are all of us together carried in the one world-womb; yet each of us is our own little microcosm in which the Incarnation is wrought independently with degrees of intensity, and shades that are incommunicable.
And that is why, in our prayer at the altar, we ask that the consecration may be brought about for us: Ut nobis Corpus et Sanguis fiat. . . . If I firmly believe that everything around me is the body and blood of the Word, then for me (and in one sense for me alone) is brought about that marvellous ‘diaphany’ which causes the luminous warmth of a single life to be objectively discernible in and to shine forth from the depths of every event, every element: whereas if, unhappily, my faith should flag, at once the light is quenched and everything becomes darkened, everything disintegrates.
May this communion of bread with the Christ clothed in the powers which
dilate the world free me from my timidities and my heedlessness! In the whirlpool of conflicts and energies out of which must develop my power to apprehend and experience your holy presence, I throw myself, my God, on your word. The man who is filled with an impassioned love of Jesus hidden in the forces which bring increase to the earth, him the earth will lift tip, like a mother, in the immensity of her arms, and will enable him to contemplate the face of God.
I must first pass through an agonizing phase of diminution for which no tangible
compensation will be given me. That is why, pouring into my chalice the bitterness of all separations, of all limitations, and of all sterile failings away, you then hold it out to me. ‘Drink ye all of this.’
How could I refuse this chalice, Lord, now that through the bread you have given me there has crept into the marrow of my being an inextinguishable longing to be united with you beyond life; through death? The consecration of the world would have remained incomplete, a moment ago, had you not with special love vitalized for those who believe, not only the life-bringing forces, but also those which bring death. My communion would be incomplete — would, quite simply, not be Christian — if, together with the gains which this new day brings me, I did not also accept, in my own name and in the name of the world as the most immediate sharing in your own being, those processes, hidden or manifest, of enfeeblement, of ageing, of death, which unceasingly consume the universe, to its salvation or its condemnation. My God, I deliver myself up with utter abandon to those fearful forces of dissolution which, I blindly believe, will this day cause my narrow ego to be replaced by your divine presence. The man who is filled with an impassioned love for Jesus hidden in the forces which bring death to the earth, him the earth will clasp in the immensity of her arms as her strength fails, and with her he will awaken in the bosom of God.
R/. The many of us are one bread and one body, all of us who partake of one bread and one cup.

V/. From your sweetness you have made a spread for the poor, you who make us live of one mind in the household. R/. The many of us…


Lord God, the source of truth and love,
keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
united in prayer and the breaking of bread,
and one in joy and simplicity of heart,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (Church of England)