'Rejoice with Me because I have found my lost sheep'
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 28, 2019): EZ 34:11-16; PS 23:1-3,4,5,6; ROM 5:5-11; LK 15:3-7
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
As we celebrate this feast venerating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we focus on the incalculable love of our Lord for every one of us.
While devotion to the Sacred Heart has existed since at least the 11th century, a universal feast was not established for the Church until the 19th century. The apparitions of the Sacred Heart seen by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun in the 1670s, greatly increased interest and dedication to the compassion and sacrifice of our Lord as expressed under this beautiful title.
In the Gospel for today we hear Jesus tell the joyful and unexpected parable of the lost sheep. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy” (Luke 15:4-5) In the world we know, some shepherds might set out to save a single lost sheep, but many others would be more pragmatic. They would shrug off the loss of one to concentrate instead on the other sheep that are not at risk. But that’s not true of the shepherd of this story who treasures each lamb and sheep. Going out into the wild he even endangers himself, but the value of each precious creature far outweighs the trouble. This is the divine way of thinking as opposed to human perspective. Each person, each sinner who repents truly matters to the Heart of our Savior. He rejoices in all who trust in Him and respond to His love with their own.