"Let every knee bend before Thee, O greatness of my God, so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host. May every heart love Thee, every spirit adore Thee and every will be subject to Thee!" — St. Margaret Mary
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Oh, how sweet and pleasant to that soul and to Me is holy prayer, made in the house of knowledge of self and of Me, opening the eye of the intellect to the light of faith, and the affections to the abundance of My charity, which was made visible to you, through My visible Only-begotten Son, who showed it to you with His blood! Which blood inebriates the soul and clothes her with the fire of divine charity, giving her the food of the Sacrament . . . that is to say, the food of the Body and Blood of My Son, wholly God and wholly man, administered to you by the hand of My vicar, who holds the key of the Blood." — St. Catherine of Siena, p. 92 AN EXCERPT FROM The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena
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Sts. Charles Lwanga and Companions
One of 22 Ugandan martyrs, Charles Lwanga is the patron of youth and Catholic action in most of tropical Africa. He protected his fellow pages (aged 13 to 30) from the homosexual demands of the Bagandan ruler, Mwanga, and encouraged and instructed them in the Catholic faith during their imprisonment for refusing the ruler's demands.
For his own unwillingness to submit to the immoral acts and his efforts to safeguard the faith of his friends, Charles was burned to death at Namugongo on June 3, 1886, by Mwanga's order.
Charles first learned of Christ's teachings from two retainers in the court of Chief Mawulugungu. While a catechumen, he entered the royal household as assistant to Joseph Mukaso, head of the court pages.
On the night of Mukaso's martyrdom for encouraging the African youths to resist Mwanga, Charles requested and received Baptism. Imprisoned with his friends, Charles's courage and belief in God inspired them to remain chaste and faithful.
When Pope Paul VI canonized these 22 martyrs on October 18, 1964, he referred to the Anglican pages martyred for the same reason.
Like Charles Lwanga, we are all teachers and witnesses to Christian living by the examples of our own lives. We are all called upon to spread the word of God, whether by word or deed. By remaining courageous and unshakable in our faith during times of great moral and physical temptation, we live as Christ lived.
On his African tour in 1969, Pope Paul VI told 22 young Ugandan converts that "being a Christian is a fine thing but not always an easy one."
Dear Lord, you have called me by my name. You have carved me in the palm of your hand. May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.
A thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by his genius what he can make of it (Saint Ignatius). I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am. How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.
The Word of God
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Lectionary: 172 Reading 1
Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel in the land's ravines and all its inhabited places. In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Reading 2 Rom 5:5b-11
Brothers and sisters: The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Alleluia Mt 11:29ab R. Alleluia, alleluia. Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord, and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Or: Jn 10:14 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord, I know my sheep, and mine know me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes: "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 and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ The message of today's feast and of today's reading is the most basic truth of all: God loves us, and he sent his Son who loved us to the very end, shedding his blood for us. Like all love, in all its forms, it is something we can never contemplate enough, it is beyond our grasp. Yet I know it is there and makes a huge difference in my life.
▪ Heaven rejoices and celebrates when one sinner repents. Do I join in the celebration, or am I one of the ninety-nine righteous ones who do not know how to be joyful, too concerned with the evil around them?
Jesus, make my heart similar to yours in its freedom and mercy.
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?
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
I myself will look after and tend my sheep. (Ezekiel 34:11)
Highly refined photographs of the sun's surface reveal dynamic surges of fire exploding from its surface in continuous powerful waves. We don't have pictures of the sacred heart of Jesus, but by God's revelation, we know that this heart, like the sun, is also a raging fire—a fire of divine love. It's burning with charity, mercy, and forgiveness, always surging out to all of humanity.
The passionate love contained in the heart of Jesus has no beginning and no end. It is eternal, exalted far above our limited abilities to love. Nothing can stop it or dampen its fervor—not even death on a cross.
It's this burning love that moved Jesus to do everything he could to save us and to empower us to live in his love. And yet, as high and "other" as this love is, it is also deeply personal and intimate, capable of touching us at every level of our being.
As we surrender ourselves to Jesus, as we ask him to warm our hearts with his divine love, we will begin to experience a new joy and passion, both for the Lord and for life itself. We will find ourselves wanting to spend more time in prayer, and we will begin to treasure Jesus' words in the Gospels. Our hearts will begin to burn with the same fire of love that is in Jesus' own heart.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux once said that the Church must have a heart and that this heart must be on fire with love. "Jesus, my love," she cried. "At last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love!"
Something else happens when we encounter Jesus' sacred heart: we find a deeper love for other people. The French priest and author Fr. Jean du Coeur de Jesus d'Elbée imagined that St. John, as he neared the end of his life, repeated only one teaching over and over again: "Love one another!" He said that if you want to love in this way, the only answer is to "plunge yourself into his heart and draw love out of his abyss of charity." May we all learn to love!
"Jesus, come inflame my heart with your love. May I become as passionate for you and your people as you are for me."
my2cents: Our Lord said: "I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark." The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I lack. "I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands" We pray "In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul." The Lord says "I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest". He says "The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly." And we pray "Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage."
In the second reading of the Holy Scriptures we heard "The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly". Because if God found us helpless, we were not hopeless. Our Father said on Sunday "Look at these innocent children making their first communion, who will bring them every Sunday from now on to Holy Mass?" It has to be Jesus. Who will gather His people? It has to be Jesus. "But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." Who of us would die for a sinner? Only Christ in your heart. Will you reach out today and from here on out, to the scattered and abandoned? How about your own? Their souls are to be gathered to Him too. "Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Reconciliation means a whole lot; actually becoming whole again. If the flock is scattered, the Lord aims to reconcile you with Him. Let us go there with our Lord.
The Lord continued today "...when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy" and He takes it home. We've to look no further than the Lord coming from Heaven to seek us, our hearts, to dwell in our hearts. We've no further than to see Him on the cross. We've no further than to know He carried the cross...on His shoulders...you, and then me. All to bring us home, to an everlasting life. And there, is great rejoicing. When a poor sinner finds out he can eat, it is life. If my loved ones would stop bottle feeding (alcohol) to satisfy their joy, and actually eat hard food (the bread, the Body of Christ) true joy would set forever. This then becomes my ordeal. Training little by little to feed the lambs. That is what a priest does because that is what the Father does. Today is the first Friday of the month, and I don't remember a first Friday that landed on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is today, and we will be praying at 7pm prayers to the Sacred Heart and the Divine Mercy chaplet by 7:30pm. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, make me love thee more and more. Yesterday, I prayed a rosary, and reflected on God's love, and here we are speaking about celebrating His love. The thoughts hammered on me, how will I speak words of Love? How will they affect to take effect? Because we've read much...all that's left is to do much, apply the search and rescue. Because, the day God found me, I had allowed myself to be found. And so, these persons around me, I had a vision on meditating, all these people I encounter, I would run into in a vision, but I could not see their face, I knew who they were, but I could see inside their chest their pumping hearts. So if God seeks a heart, it is a gathering of hearts to Himself, as if, God was aiming to repair Himself, or gather to Himself His own heart. Perhaps, this is deeply spiritual and theological, but it is us too, we aim to fix ourselves don't we? That's why we've read so far. Everything came from Him and everything shall return to Him pure. The search and rescue becomes a pure issue. This is how St. Charles and friends died...purified by fire. Pure faith shown forth and is celebrated to this day. They chose to die in the flesh than to die in the spirit which is eternal. How many of us can choose death like this? The Power of God is infused in you to do so, not cowardice. The lure to give in is an easy way...to die. Let yourself be gathered to Him and be fed by Him. Let yourself be found resting on God's shoulders by being found and repented. If you are living in sin, turn away from sin because it is immortal death. If you are tempted to sin, dive into prayer and fasting and sacrifice. Then, you will find yourself gathered into holiness, whole, wholeness with Him.
This message has been brought to you by: THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS PURE LOVE GROW IN LOVE
your brother in the love of Christ our Lord adrian