Contracts and Covenants

Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ

(Corpus Christi), June 3, 2018

I am a contract. (show one). I am full of “ands”, “ifs”, and “buts". If you do this, I’ll do that. But if you don’t, I won’t. Webster's dictionary defines a contract as an "Agreement endorsed by law." A contract is written, legal, and all conditions must be met for it to be binding.

I am a covenant. (show a blank paper with the LOVE on it) I have no “ands”, “ifs”, or “buts”. Webster's dictionary defines covenant as: an “Agreement, a bargain. The agreement between God and his people". A covenant goes far beyond a contract, it is concerned not with conditions, but with people. It is concerned not with law, but with love, trust, and honor. Our relationship with God is a covenant, not a contract. Sometimes we forget that. Too often we view God as the trial judge: if we break this rule or commit this sin he will get us good. But our relationship with God is a covenant: God will always be faithful to us, he will never let go.

 

Even though we may not remain faithful to God, God will always be faithful to us. God said it once and for all: "I have called you by name -- you are mine". God renews the covenant of love with us each time we celebrate the Eucharist.

 

The Eucharist began at the Last Supper, based on the Passover meal. The Passover meal was a covenant meal. We heard about this is the first reading today, and the second, and the gospel. All three readings today talk about the covenant: an agreement based on love, not law.

 

Too often we think of our lives as living out the terms and conditions of a contract. Yet through the Eucharist Jesus is really strengthening us to be sacraments or signs of his new covenant of love. The vocation of each one of us here in this Church: to fulfill the unconditional covenant with our Lord. The single vocation of each of us: Don't ask what can I get out of life, but what can I give to life.

 

And so, we come here with our struggles and doubts and pains and sorrows. If this Eucharist is what Jesus intended, we find here support and compassion and love. As God deals with us, so we must deal with others. We are called to make the limitless love of Jesus real for everyone else in our WORDS and ACTS of charity and kindness. We

are called to be reconcilers, not judges. We are called to forgive, not to keep score. We are called to welcome back those who want to return and to enable them to put their lives back together; not to set up conditions or establish tests to prove their worthiness and sincerity.

 

In conclusion, today on this feast of Corpus Christi, we are called to live the covenant we celebrate each time we come to Mass. Amen.

Fr. Terry Hazel

Sunday Readings

Exodus 24:3–8

[Moses said,] “This is the blood of the covenant which the  Lord has made with you.”

 

Hebrews 9:11–15

...He is mediator of a new covenant: since a death has taken place for deliverance

Mark 14:12–16, 22–26

[Jesus said,] “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.”