The readings, which reflect some aspect of the feast, feature three prominent themes: the importance of blood in the ratification of the covenant; the atoning actions of Christ; the attitude of thanksgiving. Most people today would probably be repelled by the ritual use of blood. Yet birth blood is not subject to the same revulsion, nor is blood transfusion frowned upon. Blood is recognised as a life force, and blood relationships are cherished. In a sense this ritual makes us blood sisters and brothers of God and of each other. It seals our fate and it entitles us to the family inheritance. This feast celebrates the incomparable love of Christ. He offered himself for the expiation of our sins; he spread a banquet table for us at which we are able to eat the bread of companionship and share the blood of the new covenant. How shall we make a return to the Lord for all the good that we have received? The only appropriate response to God’s graciousness is thanksgiving (eucharistía). We have been chosen; we have been delivered; we have a witness in heaven; and now we have been given the bread of eternal life and the blood of salvation. What return can we give? A life of gratitude lived in the presence of God; a life of union with all those who eat the same bread and drink from the same cup; a life of faithful expectation, waiting for the coming of the reign of God in all its fullness.