The Holy Mass ForePatterned!!!

It was only yesterday that we celebrated the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ- Corpus Christi we call it, and yet the readings from yesterday has left an impact in my mind. To put it plainly, I was fascinated, you know, that moment where you are listening to the Bible passage and something strikes you, things begin to make sense, you begin the connect the dots; that’s exactly what happened yesterday when I listened to the first reading from Exodus 24:3-8, though for this write-up I wish to extend to verse 10.

What did I find? You would remember that earlier in my meditations on The Mass in Mark 6!!! I explained to you how the two-fold parts of the Mass: The Liturgy of the Word and The Liturgy of the Eucharist were already present in the multiplication of loaves in Mark 6, there Jesus first of all teaches the crowd (cf. Mark 6:30) and then He breaks bread (cf. Mark 6:41). Also, in the encounter with the disciples at Emmaus, Jesus does the same two things: He opens the scriptures up to them and He broke bread (cf. Luke 24:13-35) and finally we saw that the people of the early Church followed this two-fold pattern as their pattern of worship (Acts 2:41-47). The breaking of bread was an establishment of a new covenant, a new sacrifice, and he prepared the people of the New Testament for that ultimate sacrifice through such events as the multiplication of loaves.

 
But let us again reflect on the activity that marked the inauguration of the New Covenant:
‘And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessing it, broke, and gave it to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body.
And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it.
 And he said to them: This is my blood of the New Covenant, which shall be shed for many’. (cf. Mark 14:22-24).
 
It is indeed spectacular to find the passage in Exodus 24, the inauguration of the Old Mosaic Covenant very similar to this passage in three ways: First, we read in verse 8, ‘And he took the blood and sprinkled it upon the people, and he said: This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words’. Though this time it was the blood of animals that were used to seal the covenant, it is remarkable how the same words were used by both Moses for the Old Covenant and Jesus-the New Moses for the New Covenant whose blood satisfies and does much more than the blood of animals could do (cf. Hebrews 9:12).
 
However the second thing, and much more unveiling for me was that the same pattern that characterized such moments in the New Testament, I found also in the inauguration of the Old Mosaic Covenant. First, Moses exposes the Word of the Lord to them, ‘and taking the book of the covenant, he read it in the hearing of the people: and they said: All things that the Lord hath spoken we will do, we will be obedient.’ (Verse 7). This he did before sprinkling the blood of the covenant on the people. I heard this, saw the same pattern, and was more convinced that God had even started from the time of Moses to foreshadow the Mass, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, to prepare even the people of the Old Covenant for what he was going to do in the Mass.
 
The third and final thing I want to share with you about the passage is the fact that, just as we were told that the New Testament patterns of proclaiming the word and breaking of bread characterized moments of unique encounter with God, for instance the disciples at Emmaus whose eyes opened and who only recognized Jesus in and after the breaking of the bread (cf. Luke 24:30-31), so too in Exodus 24:9, Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the 70 elders encountered God in a unique way, after the sprinkling of the blood of the Covenant. In fact, the bible makes us understand that ‘they saw the God of Israel…they looked on God and they ate and drank’ (cf. verse 10-11),
 
Yet again, we are convinced, I am convinced that in the Mass we encounter God, we encounter Christ, and again not on our own terms but on his. We don’t set the agenda, God does!!! He has planned the agenda of that unique encounter with him from ages past, ages before us. What is this agenda of that wonderful meeting? He teaches us and then he breaks bread. How much more then should we value this sacred feast, this supper that God has prepared for us and invited us to participate in. We should let the Lord into our hearts, lifting our hearts to him so that He may come in and have supper with us.
 
PS: I have attached a picture of my brothers and sisters in the faith  and I (Students of the Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos) with our priest Fr. Peter Chidolue SJ (who sadly would be leaving us soon) after the Holy Mass on Corpus Christi Sunday.

From your friend and brother: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
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Author: Chibuzor F. Ogamba

Chibuzor F. Ogamba is a Nigerian Medical Student, Writer, Poet, Blogger, Public Speaker and Catholic Apologist

3 thoughts on “The Holy Mass ForePatterned!!!”

  1. Wonderful! God is such an amazing playwright! Its awesome how these parallels being struck between the old and the new proves to us even much more that these things were truly God inspired and have culminated in this Great Sacrifice. 'You are what you eat…..' after hearing the Word, we eat the Word, so that we too can become the Word and be sealed in His covenant on another note I have come to realize that as many times as we go through a passage of the bible, we find something new and relatable each time.. And on the other hand, every event in our life can be related to one in the holy Scriptures. Is God not extremely insightful?!

    Pax Domini sit semper tecum!

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  2. Exactly! Well said! The more we realize how the New Covenant was foreshadowed in the Old and the Old foreshadows the New, We come to a fuller understanding of how the Holy Bible is One Story…God's own story..the more we understand that story and apply ourselves to it. Thanks for commenting!!!
    Pax Domini sit cum spiritum tuum!

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