Sacred Heart of Jesus, guide us in sharing Your love with the world
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 11, 2021): Hos. 11:1,3-4,8-9; IS 12:2-3,4,5-6; EPH 3:8-12,14-19; JN 19:31-37
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
It is a good time for priests, and for all Catholics, to pray for their spiritual and temporal welfare and contemplate the dignity and significance of their vocation.
The love of Christ for His people is revered is a very special way through devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In recognizing the love that led Him to the cross for our sake, we can more deeply reciprocate that love. The depth of this love was seen from the earliest days of the Church as we find in the second reading today from St. Paul’s letter: “The Father…grant you in accord with the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love…know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:14, 16-17, 19). The more we strive to understand and embrace this gift, the more we grasp that we can never fully appreciate a love that is so immense, so profound. Over the centuries, many devout Christians gained a devotion to the Heart of our Lord that was so filled with His care, concern, and loving kindness for every one of us.
In the 17th century, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Visitation religious Sister, was repeatedly visited by Christ, who told her to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. Despite hardships, and with the help of her Jesuit confessor, St. Claude de la Colombiere, she encouraged others to honor Jesus in this way. Most Catholics know the classic image of His pierced heart burning with flames of love, surrounded by a crown of thorns, and topped with a cross. In 1856, Pope Pius IX established a feast for the entire Church to celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 2002, Pope St. John Paul II, declared that it would also be an annual World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. It is a good time for priests, and for all Catholics, to pray for their spiritual and temporal welfare and contemplate the dignity and significance of their vocation. We can also make a practice of asking the Sacred Heart of Jesus to guide us daily in giving His love to all we meet.
Suggested missionary action: Of the many beautiful prayers dedicated to the Sacred Heart, we might offer this brief one frequently: “O Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like onto Thine.”