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The Gospel of Life

Don Michele Colagiovanni

“The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground” (Gen 4:10). It is not only the voice of the blood of Abel, the first innocent man to be murdered, which cries to God, the source and defender of life. The blood of every other human being who has been killed since Abel is also a voice raised to the Lord. In an absolutely singular way, as the author of the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us, the voice of the blood of Christ, of whom Abel in his innocence is a prophetic figure, cries out to God: “You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God … to the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel” (12:22,24).

It is the sprinkled blood. A symbol and prophetic sign of it had been the blood of the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, whereby God expressed his will to communicate his own life to men, purifying and consecrating them (cf. Ex 24:8; Lev 17:11). Now all of this is fulfilled and comes true in Christ: his is the sprinkled blood which redeems, purifies and saves; it is the blood of the Mediator of the New Covenant “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Mt 26:28). This blood, which flows from the pierced side of Christ on the Cross (cf. Jn 19:34), “speaks more graciously” than the blood of Abel; indeed, it expresses and requires a more radical “justice”, and above all it implores mercy, it makes intercession for the brethren before the Father (cf. Heb 7:25), and it is the source of perfect redemption and the gift of new life.

Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 25 March 1995, no. 25

Gospel of Blood
It is a long time since in our milieu ones speaks of the "Gospel of Blood". This phrase begins to become familiar. What does it mean?

We can explain it in this way: "It is a good news that comes from understanding profoundly the mystery of the Blood of Christ". Such good news, like that of the Gospel, from which it is taken to the point of constructing an important and all-inclusive nucleus, is not something that is peripheral but comprehends all of human life and radically transforms it. The Gospel of Blood, therefore, is appropriately called also, the Gospel of Life. The text of Pope John Paul II expounds magnificently upon this assertion.

The Pope places the reader before two classic scenes of importance to the blood: two emblematic stories: that of Abel and that of Christ. One cannot avoid it. It is intentional. John Paul II --according to the author of the Letter to the Hebrew-- makes from the two bloods, two archetypes. The blood of Abel, poured out by Cain and the Blood of Christ sprinkled over humanity, convey two messages. In the blood poured out by Cain, the Pope sees the beginning and the key to interpreting all the evil that has poisoned human life until our own day. In the Blood of Christ, on the contrary, he sees a way out from the evil towards salvation, that which the Christian calls redemption.

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