This feast calls us to rejoice in the unending, immeasurable love of our Savior as expressed in His Sacred Heart
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 24, 2022): EZ 34:11-16; PS 23:1-3,3-4,5,6;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.
In St. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus told a familiar parable that exemplifies both His love for us and the way He sees us as individuals of immense value.
The Church marks this Friday following the Solemnity of the Most holy Body and Blood of Christ to venerate His Sacred Heart. We are invited to recognize our Savior’s overwhelming love for all people as well as to acknowledge how His own heart was pierced for us on the cross. Devotion to the Sacred Heart developed over the centuries and was marked by the personal dedication and mystical experience of several saints, particularly St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun of the 17th century, who implored: “If you only knew how much merit and glory there is in honoring this loving Heart of the adorable Jesus and how great will be the recompense for those who strive to honor it. … He will make up for what is wanting in your imperfect actions and sanctify your good ones if only you conform yourself in everything to His holy will. He has great plans in store for you.”
The liturgical readings for today remind us of God’s infinite and compassionate care for His precious children. In St. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus told a familiar parable that exemplifies both His love for us and the way He sees us as individuals of immense value. He addressed His message especially to the Pharisees and scribes. These were people who thought highly of themselves because of their place in the community. Christ says: “What many 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 and, upon his arrival home, he calls his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep’” (Luke 15:4-6). Actually, the majority of those who were listening to Him would never have done what that shepherd did. They would play it safe and just look after the ninety-nine who did not cause any problems; the ones who basically did what they were told. After all, what did one frail, foolish troublemaker matter anyway? But that is not how God sees us or how He loves us. If our Father did not find us worthy of His mercy, He would never have sent His Son to die for us. God’s own love for us makes us worth the Passion that Christ endured. It is only when we do not acknowledge and repent that we break His Heart. Because at one time or another, we are all that one lamb who strays.