Serving the Sacred Heart of Jesus by loving our neighbors, near and far
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 “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In suffering and dying for us, Christ revealed His compassion for every single person. We are not some anonymous massive group of the billions who have lived or will ever live on earth.
Today the Church calls us to venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It has been a universal feast day since the 19th century. However, a number of saints and other faithful Christians had expressed reverence for Christ under this title since the Middle Ages. Yet it was not until St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French religious Sister, had a series of visions of Jesus in the 17th century that this devotion became widely popular. In honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus we pay homage to the immeasurable love of our Savior for His people. In the reading about the Crucifixion from St. John’s Gospel we hear: “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.… This happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:…They will look upon him whom they have pierced” (John 19:33-34, 36, 37). The Son of God withheld nothing in obeying His Father and emptying Himself out for all His precious people.
In suffering and dying for us, Christ revealed His compassion for every single person. We are not some anonymous massive group of the billions who have lived or will ever live on earth. In both His divinity and humanity, our Lord gave Himself completely for our personal and eternal welfare. In addition, He became a model for us. Jesus urges us to return His love and to share it with one another. Pope Benedict XVI said, “The essential nucleus of Christianity is expressed in the Heart of Jesus.… His divine Heart calls to our hearts, inviting us to come out of ourselves, to abandon our human certainties to trust in Him and, following His example, to make of ourselves a gift of love without reserve.” Unless we imitate the love of our Lord by loving others, we can never really appreciate the love, mercy, and forgiveness that He longs to impart to us every day of our lives.