Adam is sleeping an ecstatic sleep. God opens his side, removes a rib and forms Eve, the mother of all the living. But our view transcends this action and in spirit we behold the second, the divine Adam, Christ. He is sleeping the sleep of death. From His opened side blood and water flow, symbols of baptism and the Eucharist, symbols of the second Eve, the Church, the Mother of all the living. Through blood and water Christ willed to redeem God’s many children and to lead them to an eternal home. At Jerusalem a service in Yahweh’s honour is taking place on the Day of Atonement. The high priest is making his annual entrance into the holy of holies to sprinkle the blood of bucks and bulls upon the covenant in expiation for the sins of the people. The Church shows us the higher meaning of this rite. Our divine High Priest Christ on the first Good Friday entered that Holy of Holies which is not made with hands nor sprinkled with the blood of bucks and bulls; there He effects, once and for all, with His own Blood man’s eternal redemption.
A finale. Holy Church transports us to the end. The heavenly liturgy is in progress. Upon the altar is the Lamb, slain yet alive, crimsoned by His own Blood. Round about stand the countless army of the redeemed in garments washed white in the Blood of the Lamb. Hosts of the blessed are singing the new canticle of redemption: “You have redeemed us out of every tribe and tongue and nation by Your Blood.” Now from vision to present reality. How fortunate we are to have divine Blood so near to us, to offer it to the heavenly Father for the sins of the whole world!
Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace , Pius Parsch