Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 11
Let Us Gaze Upon the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Which Beats Out of Divine Love for You and Me, Inviting Each of Us to Share Our Eternal Life with Him.
We read from today’s Gospel, “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” – the passage which speaks of our Lord’s Heart being pierced.
When one speaks of a heart, two images come to mind; first, a bodily organ which beats within us, pumping oxygen enriched blood at least once every second, which maintains bodily life. The second image is one of emotions, oftentimes filled with love, and the caring and concerns which we hold for others.
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am sure we have all seen statues or images of the Sacred Heart. There are many parishes and schools that carry this Holy Name. Our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a special form of private devotion to our Lord, sanctioned and encouraged by the Church.
And to better understand this image, we need to understand its history. From the time of the Apostles, there has always been an understanding of God’s Infinite Love for His children. For we read in the third chapter of Saint John’s Gospel, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
It was during the 13th century that Saint Gertrude the Great, after having experienced visions and conversing with our Lord, believed her mystical experiences with God were given to her so that she could share them and help others in their personal faith devotions. She wrote them down in her book titled Revelations, and she devoted the rest of her life to meditating upon both Christ’s Humanity and His Sacred Heart.
During the latter part of the 17th century, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who lived in a cloistered community of Visitation Nuns, and, in spite of her personal feelings of unworthiness, desired to become Christ’s instrument in whatever way He wished to use her.
In return for her love, God allowed her to be conscious of His Presence in her soul. Christ appeared to her frequently throughout her life, explicitly making it her mission to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. She knew both the extreme joy of personally experiencing the depth of God’s Love for men, and also the intense sorrow of the Cross.
As a result of these experiences, she was often very unpopular in her own convent, sometimes lonely, and often deeply sorrowful, and all the suffering of her sensitive soul was offered in reparation for man’s offenses against the Heart which loved us beyond all human understanding, even to the point of our Lord’s own agonizing death.
With the encouragement of Saint Claude de la Colombière, her Jesuit confessor, together with an understanding superior, Saint Margaret Mary was finally able to inform others of her visions and to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart – first in her own convent, then to other Visitation houses, and later throughout France. Through her, Christ spread anew His message of His Love to a world which had grown terribly cold.
As our Lord did with Saint Gertrude, he also allowed Saint Margaret Mary to rest her head upon His Most Sacred Heart, and disclosed to her the wonders of His Love. On what is believed to be June 16, 1675, Jesus told Sister Margaret Mary, “Behold the Heart that has so loved men…instead of gratitude, I receive from the greater part [of mankind] only ingratitude…”, and our Lord asked for a Feastday of reparation to be held on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi, which we just celebrated last Sunday.
Finally, in 1856, Pope Pius IX established this celebration as a Feast for the Universal Church. In 1889, it was elevated to the rite of Solemnity, thereby truly honoring the Divine Love which God has for each of us, His children.
Today’s Scriptures reiterate the message of God’s indescribable Love. In our First Reading, God is speaking about His chosen people, “When Israel was a child I loved him…” And He goes on to say, “I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks…”
And Paul tells us in our Second Reading, “…that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
“…the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge…” – Paul is telling us that the depth of God’s Love for His children is beyond human understanding. The Love which God has for His children, for you and me, is immeasurable. And Christ proved it by freely stretching His arms out upon His Cross.
The depth of God’s Love for us is what is described as unfathomable and profoundly incomprehensible to the human mind and heart, for it is a Love which is so encompassing and so overwhelming! And yet, when we reflect upon our own human nature, how many times do we come up short in returning God’s Love in our thoughts, in our words and in our actions?
In our individual walks of faith, it truly is not difficult to return that Love which is freely given to you and me. All He asks of us is that we love God and love our neighbor, and that we turn away from sin and live a life of virtue, always keeping God at the center of our lives – always staying focused on what is truly most important on this side of the eternal.
As we celebrate this great Solemnity of His Divine Love for each one of us today, let us gaze upon His Most Sacred Heart, pierced by a lance from which flowed Blood and Water – Blood which is the life of souls, and Water which makes souls righteous, as taken from Saint Faustina’s Diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul.
Let us gaze upon the Heart of Jesus which beats out of Divine Love for you and me, and let us sincerely give thanks to a God who not only has given us life, but also invites us to share our eternal life with Him in His Kingdom, a Kingdom which is beyond human description and filled with incomprehensible beauty.
For He truly is a God of Infinite Love, a God who is “meek and humble of heart”, and who invites each one of us to remain in His Love as He remains in us.
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” (John 19:33-34)
- “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of mercy and supplication, so that when they look on him whom they have thrust through…” (Zechariah 12:10ab)
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
- “When Israel was a child I loved him…I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like those who raise an infant to their cheeks; I bent down to feed them.” (Hosea 11:1a, 4)
- “…that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17b-19)
- “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)
- “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-6)
- “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)
Prayer for the Day
“O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,Anonymous
Fountain of eternal life,
Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Divine Love.
I find in You my refuge and my sanctuary.
“O my Adorable and Most Loving Savior,
consume my heart with the burning fire
with which Your Most Sacred Heart is aflamed.
Pour down upon my soul those graces
which flow from Your unfathomable Love.
“Let my heart be united with Yours.
Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things.
And may Your will become the rule
of all my desires and actions. Amen.”