I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....
Lord, may I never take the gift
To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me.
The Word of God
Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Reading 1 Hos 11:1, 3-4, 8c-9
Thus says the LORD:
Responsorial Psalm Is 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Reading 2 Eph 3:8-12, 14-19
Brothers and sisters:
Alleluia Mt 11:29ab
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Or 1 Jn 4:10b
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 19:31-37
Since it was preparation day,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. (Hosea 11:8)
The story of Hosea and Gomer is one of the most touching stories in Scripture. After a number of happy years together, Hosea's wife commits adultery. Hosea is discouraged and distressed, but God tells him to forgive her and welcome her back home. Then God tells Hosea that this is how Israel, his spouse, treats him. He pours his love on his people, but they go and commit spiritual adultery with false gods and worldly practices.
Sadly, what was true for Israel in Hosea's time is often true for us. Yes, we love God, but we also are attracted to many other gods like money, sexuality, possessions, or status.
But as you can see in the first reading, God says, "My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger" (Hosea 11:8-9). These words capture the message of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They tell us that God loves us. They tell us that he has compassion on us, despite our waywardness.
In one of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque's visions, Jesus showed her his heart and said, "Behold the Heart that has loved humanity so much that it has spared nothing... in order to testify to them about its love. But in return I receive from the greater part of them only ingratitude."
The message of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is also a message of overwhelming compassion for those who suffer—the poor, the sick, the maligned, and the rejected. If you are suffering, know that Jesus is with you, standing right beside you. He is blessing you. He is filling you with grace and love. He is pouring out his heart for you.
So as you celebrate today's feast, keep these two messages in mind. First, repent of any ways that you have chased after other gods. And second, know that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is overwhelmed with compassion for everyone who is suffering.
"Thank you, Jesus, for never giving up on us. Lord, may we never lose sight of your love."
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6
A Jewish midrash on the Exodus account of Moses's encounter with God compares the burning bush to the human heart: the only created thing which can burn without being consumed. Yet nothing seems to be harder for human beings to believe in than unconditional love—love that is neither deserved nor earned. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, aflame with an unquenchable fire, stands today against lingering traces of Jansenism as a powerful symbol of Christ's unquenchable love for the whole human race.
"Whoever does not love does not know God. Why? Because God is Love. What more can be said, my Brothers? If one did not find one word in praise of love through this epistle, nor the least word throughout all the other pages of Scripture, and we heard only this one word from the voice of the Spirit of God: Because 'God is Love,' we should seek for nothing more" (St. Augustine, Homily on the First Epistle of St. John).
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.