Thought of the day
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time

“A blood for purification that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel ” (Heb 12,24

Cain and Abel both appeared to worship God with exactly the same rites, but in reality they made their offerings with very different dispositions. Those of the elder only seemed like a gift whereas those of the younger bore witness to his reverence and piety. From this arose feelings of jealousy..., and so Abel was murdered (Gen 4,3f.)... 

      In holy Abel I find the image of Christ. For indeed, our Savior is the supremely Righteous One... But amongst all the men of the Old Covenant Abel was the prince of righteousness... Besides, our Savior himself placed Abel at the head of the line of all the righteous when he said to the Jews: “Amen, I tell you, the blood of all the righteous shed since the beginning of the world will be charged to this generation, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar”...

Here is a wonderful thing: because he was the first to fight for justice, Abel had the honor of being the first to suffer for his piety. He is a true prefiguration of Christ who was put to death for truth's sake. The blood of Abel foretold the blood of Christ: it cried out from the earth (Gen 4,10). Our Lord's blood cries out too; but the blood of Abel was a supplication, the blood of Christ the reconciliation of the world... That is why the apostle Paul, recalling both of them, confesses the superiority of Christ's blood. He writes: “We have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel” (Heb 12,22-24)... Yes, this blood speaks: it prays for sinners, intercedes for the world. The blood of Christ is truly for the purification of the world; the blood of Christ is our redemption.