Moses sprinkled the blood of young bulls on the ancient Israelite people to signify their assent to follow God’s laws. In exchange for that rather paltry offering, God established a lasting covenant and adopted them as his own human family. Through the sacrifice of Christ’s blood on the cross over a thousand years later, humanity now no longer needs to offer the blood of bulls and goats for the atonement of their sins (Hebrews 9:14).
In the gospel today, Jesus sent two of his disciples into the city to acquire a place where he could eat the Passover with his disciples before he was to be crucified. They were to speak to the owner of a particular home and request a guest room. As Jesus predicted, the cenacle was provided, and the return for that small act of generosity on the owner’s part was the Bread of Life given to all future generations in the Last Supper.
In both cases, the Lord transformed human gifts—the blood of animals and a room—into the precious gifts of divine adoption, sustenance, and redemption. Indeed, the paltry gifts we are able to offer are always one-upped by God.
“How shall I make a return to the Lord?” asks the author of the responsorial psalm today, who answers his own question: It is through a “sacrifice of thanksgiving,” always calling upon the name of the Lord.
Our practice of stewardship begins and ends with the recognition that God pours out his abundant blessings in return for our small sacrifices.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
Saint Brendan Church in San Francisco. Check out our exciting featured news articles.