29 May Wednesday
There’s a choice for the second reading. In the Hebrews choice, the Ascension event appears in priestly and temple language and imagery. Blood (in the Book of Leviticus) is life, so that life offered in sacrifice becomes a sharing and a gift of life.
Blood removes sin, which is death, and restores life. Through the life, through the blood of Jesus we, too, are able to be with him in life in the heavenly sanctuary. This life is available only through a sharing in the blood/life of Christ.
The hearts sprinkled clean historically references Exodus 24 and the “bodies washed in pure water” references the exodus passage through the Sea of the people of Israel. (Exodus 14-15) This last reference is the going up of the people of Israel to the promised land.
Eucharist and Baptism are profoundly connected here in this text. We, too, have made and indeed are still making this same journey of faith. The challenge is to enable people to see that this pattern in Christ is the pattern for us to which we ought to be conformed. For this confession of faith gives life.