Reflection on the Seven Offerings of the Precious Blood of Jesus through the lens of ecological justice

In Scripture, there are seven instances when Jesus sheds His Precious Blood. In each of these circumstances, Jesus is giving of himself in place of us, once again uniting God and humanity to right relationship. As I have joined the Sisters of the Precious Blood as peace, justice and ecology coordinator, I’ve been learning more about Precious Blood spirituality. So, I reflected on the Seven Offerings and how they relate to the environment, and I wrote a prayer. (See below.)

Now, it’s your turn! I’m inviting you to give it a try. If it helps, I have a step-by-step process that is not very complicated.

  1. Read each of the Seven Offerings (and the referenced Scripture, if you would like).

♦ His circumcision: Luke 2:21-24

♦ Sweating blood in the garden: Luke 22:39-46

♦ Scourging at the pillar: John 19:1

♦ Crowning of thorns: Mark 15:17

♦ Carrying of the cross: John 19:16-17

♦ His crucifixion: Mark 15:20

♦ The spear into his side: John 19:31-35

  1. Reflect on what ecological or justice issue comes to your mind when you think about that instance. Is there a situation or person or groups of people who are suffering that connects to that instance of blood offering?
  2. Jot these ideas down. Don’t worry about wording.
  3. Close your eyes and listen for the Spirit moving. Do this for as long as you are comfortable.
  4. Open your eyes and reread your ideas.
  5. As you see your notes, consider how you would like to address God at the beginning of your prayer. It’s OK to think outside the normal names for God if that is helpful.
  6. This time, edit your ideas into sentences.
  7. Write them down on a clean sheet of paper.
  8. Lastly, read this prayer out loud.
  9. Amen!

I would love to gather up these prayers to share them with others. So, if you are willing, please mail or email them to me.

Creator Spirit,

We are so grateful for our Earth. In Your vast and merciful way, You have provided a world that is incomprehensibly complex and yet in many ways, profoundly simple in its beauty.

Jesus, You were born into a culture that marked belonging with blood. At Your circumcision, You began your mission connecting humanity, joining ancestors with descendants as one family, as one in Your body. Please motivate our actions toward being responsive to caring for the world as our parents did with special responsibility toward the future for our children and children’s children.

Jesus, at Your passion, You felt the enormity of doing God’s will through immense suffering. Your sweat became Your actual blood. Please encourage us to respond to the many needs of our wounded planet even when we feel overwhelmed. Guide our efforts.

Jesus, Your body was ripped apart as You were scourged. As Your body was beautifully and wonderfully made, Your blood came rushing to cleanse the wounds. Please forgive us for scourging our environment, decimating rainforests with deforestation, overfishing oceans which upsets ecosystems, introducing invasive species which choke out native plants, and extensive use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers which poison the soil.

Jesus, the soldiers corrupted the natural defense of a plant by weaving a crown of thorns in order to taunt and torture You. Our ecosystems are also being twisted and our natural climate is changing in response. Please help us live more simply, to reduce our consumption, to make do with what we have, to only buy what we really need, to reuse items, to recycle and compost what we can.

Jesus, the cross upon Your beaten body caused even more pain and blood. While You experienced that immense weight, we are crushed by the weight of air — the exorbitant dependence on fossil fuels from powering personal vehicles to manufacturing goods. Please help us move toward renewable energy, even taking small steps like driving our cars less and consuming less.

Jesus, Your body was immobilized as your hands and feet were nailed into the cross. You were completely and utterly vulnerable. Please be a model for those in our society who are most affected by the denigration of our environment — the poor and those on the margins. They often feel that they have also been rendered paralyzed by a damaged environment.

Jesus, even after death, You offered Your blood mixed with water, pouring out with the thrust of a spear. Please forgive us when we let our taps run continuously while we do dishes and when we drink a half a plastic bottle of water and then just throw the rest away — with the bottle. Please help us recognize the importance of clean, free-flowing water for all life.

Jesus, may we be committed to be personally reflective and to make small but incremental steps toward being better stewards of Your abundant Earth.

Jesus, may we be encouraged to be collectively reflective and to make large and increasing steps toward being better stewards of Your abundant Earth.


Story by Jen Morin-Williamson

Top, artwork by Sister Regina, ASC. Bottom, Crabtree at the CPPS Administrative Office; Sister Edna Hess photo.

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