The Sacred Heart
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 17, 2018
The Friday before last we celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is all about love—my love for Christ, of course—but more importantly, Christ’s love for me. When we look at a picture of the Sacred Heart, we notice that this heart has a wounded side where Christ’s heart was pierced (John 19:34). When we feel perhaps that God does not love us, we can look through this image to the gospel, which shows the broken heart Christ died from out of love for us.
I suspect that most of us at some time in our lives have had our hearts broken. We cannot really love someone without taking a risk—the risk of being rejected or hurt! But the reward of risk is to be really loved! Or perhaps we have loved and have had that love betrayed or rejected. We have been hurt. Sometimes we may even feel that God has rejected us or hurt us in some way. But when we see an image of the Sacred Heart we remember how much Christ loved us. After all, what more could he do for us than to have his human heart literally torn open by the ingratitude of the very people he had come to save?
From you and me, then, Jesus wants us to show him gratitude. How many times did I thank Jesus for his love today? If I have been given a cross, can I thank him that he is sharing this pain with me? The Sacred Heart tells me that no matter what pain I am in, Christ really does understand.
So many in the world are ungrateful to God. They seldom thank God for the gift of their lives or the gifts they have received, let alone their crosses (blessings in disguise). We, who wish to be his friends, at least ought to take some time each day to express our gratitude for his undying love.
Below, we have reprinted the Litany of the Sacred Heart, which you may wish to use for your prayers. As Christ said to Saint Margaret Mary, “I will bless every home where my image is displayed and honored.” Do you have an image of the Sacred Heart in your home in a prominent place? Then expect to be blessed! Within us, too, there can be a kind of shrine where the Sacred Heart is venerated and honored. This litany is one way to do that.