Friday, June 15, 2007

Homily for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

In 1677, Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun, in France in a vision and revealed his Sacred Heart. She said

I could plainly see His heart, pierced and bleeding, yet there were flames, too, coming from it and a crown of thorns around it. He told me to behold His heart which so loved humanity. Then He seemed to take my very heart from me and place it there in His heart. In return He gave me back part of His flaming heart.
The Church promotes devotion to Sacred Heart of Jesus. The devotion precedes the private revelation and is solidly supported by Scripture. Jesus says: "Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (Matthew 11:29) "One of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water." (Jn. 19:34)

This devotion is essentially worship and a response to the Person of Christ. The Christian faith is a response to Christ as a living, loving person, not just embracing a set of principles. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not a peripheral devotion, to honor and love God is the heart of our faith.

The person of Christ and His work can be summarized in love. He is our savior. He died for us. He proved his love by dying for us. Each one of us can say He died for me.

Love is the reason for our existence. It is why God sent his Son to redeem us, why he sustains us. He calls us to be with him forever. God’s love for us demands a response. When we commit sin, we don’t simply break a rule. We hurt the person who loves us most and whose love we should return.

Jesus loves us with a human and Divine love. Love is symbolized by the heart. The Biblical meaning of the heart is the whole interior life of the person: his or sentiments, memories, thoughts, reasoning and planning.

Jesus used the word 'heart" in this sense when he says

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, un-chastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile. (Matthew 15, 18-20)

Jesus has the most perfect human feelings and perceptions. He feels the sting of man's ingratitude. He feels the severity of being rejected. This rejection took the form of crucifixion.

He continues to love those who reject his love. He doesn’t force us to love him. Every sin is in some way a rejection of Christ’s love. Our failure to love him as we should hurts us. It also hurts him.

He told St. Margaret Mary that the ingratitude of man for his love was worse than his physical sufferings. We need to console Him and do reparation, first for our own sins and then for the sins of others.

We console him by placing our faith and trust in him, following his commandments, being faithful to our daily duty, honoring his Sacred Heart, loving God and our neighbor.

Below are the promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque:

1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their homes.
3. I will comfort them in their afflictions.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.
5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

1 comment:

Francis Juwah said...

Father, i love your homily. Its beautiful to see such enriching words on the net. It will improve my love of God for sure.