WE are the last detail in God’s Plan

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: https://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Mass-Blog-for-the-Solemnity-of-Christs-Body-and-Blood-2024.mp3)

Moses was 80 when he gave his people the laws of God. But Sunday’s first reading from Exodus tells us that receiving and disseminating them was just part of his job.  His responsibilities extended to the construction of a 12-pillared altar and the sacrifice of bulls as a peace offering to God. Then he had to pour their blood into bowls, bless the altar with that blood, AND sprinkle the people with it. Finally, he’d have to explain to those people why they were covered with blood:

“This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his,” he told them. (Ex 24:3-8)

But that was just the beginning. THEN this octogenarian had to climb God’s mountain to not only receive those laws as inscribed on stone tablets, but to chisel into his heart the detailed instructions for building the Ark that would house this Covenant. Its altar had to be just right, as did the Menorah, the tent cloth, the tabernacle framework, and the surrounding court (all illuminated by olive-oil-fueled lighting). Even the priestly vestments and the installation of the priests who’d wear them had to be just so.

This 80-year-old man documented all of these details and carried them in his heart—and down God’s mountain while also lugging those stone-inscribed laws. But all it took was a simple, stupid golden calf to threaten the disintegration of all he accomplished.

Forty days was apparently too long for these immature and foolish people to wait before receiving the Godly guidance they needed to escape slavery to their vanity. If YOU had done all that Moses did for them, wouldn’t YOU have shattered those tablets into little pieces too?

Exit the God of Law, Enter the God of Love.

Centuries later, Jesus descended a mountain with far simpler instructions. Now, one sacrifice would accomplish infinitely more than all the animal blood spilled on the ornate altars that rose and fell over the course of the previous millennium. Jesus directed his disciples to a place where preparations were already made for them. All they had to do was follow someone into a house’s pre-furnished upper room (Mk 14:12-16, 22-26). How simple is that?

But even after partaking of that first Eucharist before he died, several of Christ’s disciples would imitate those impatient people who got tired of waiting for Moses’ return. After supper, Jesus would go off by himself to pray—only to find, upon his return, his disciples fast asleep. They succumbed to a fatigue that was no match for their Master’s suffering—just as Moses’ people did.

Are we impatient 21st Century disciples much different from our ancient ancestors? If anything, our modern instant-info devices have made us even LESS patient to learn the simple truths we struggle to believe. That’s why we still need Paul’s words—someone who was once like us in all the worst ways—to remind us that we are still on God’s eternal clock. Christ set that clock to awaken us out of our slavery to this material world.

Jesus built a perfect tabernacle of faith—independent of earthly materials. He entered into it once and consecrated it with his own blood. It’s a done deal. Nothing more for us to do but worship at it and bask in the eternal inheritance emanating from it (Heb 9:11-15). We stand to inherit the courage to believe that we are an indispensable component of God’s love. If we claim it, we must proclaim it.

–Tom Andel


  1. The Body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist which we receive every Sunday is the gift of all gifts, His very body, blood, soul, and divinity.

    It is too immense for us to fully appreciate, yet we fall in line every week incapable of grasping the magnitude of what we receive. I am guilty and so is everyone reading this (probably).

    God is too big, and we are too small to appreciate all He offers us. It’s OK, He knows this and offers it anyway!


    • You’re right, of course, Thomas, about the immensity of this sacrifice. But maybe it would help us who are too small to understand it to adopt the innocence of the children Jesus so admired. What if we were to just try absorbing the simplicity of Christ’s sacrifice and sharing its essence: Unconditional Love. Now THAT’s hard!

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