Covenants, treaties, major contracts are celebrated with exchange of gifts, with banqueting. God, conforming to our nature as He created it, chooses to approach us in accord with our social and business procedures and our psychological makeup. Meeting with Abraham our father in faith, God acted as one head of state approaching another, made a treaty of friendship with him, promising favors beyond Abraham's expectations, asking only that "he keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice." This covenant God renewed and enriched with Jacob (Israel), then Moses, then David, always with more generous promises of a new and everlasting covenant–the two covenanting parties sealing each treaty with the blood of sacred victims.

Finally God's own Son came and offered a perfect Sacrifice, a pure and holy victim, thereby binding all mankind to Himself in a new and everlasting union or covenant which guarantees forgiveness of sins. It was not just a friendly promise, but a solemn treaty binding under oath; (God's word always has the force of a formal oath). Inaugurating the new Covenant and sealing it with his blood, Jesus declared: "This is my body which will be given up for you...This is my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins maybe forgiven." These are divine words. That we may continually renew this glorious covenant, sealing it again with the blood which earned it for us, and give ourselves to God as loyal covenanters, Jesus added the command: "Do this in memory of me."

Everlasting Gift
Fr. Frank Bittenz, S.J.