Sacred Heart of Jesus - June 11

 “My son died in 1994 but his heart only stopped beating this year”. Yes, the American little boy Nicholas’s heart was beating in someone else' body in Italy for more than 25 years after his death.

On the night of 29 September 1994, seven-year-old Nicholas Green from USA was fatally shot during a family holiday in southern Italy. The death was a tragedy for his parents, Reg and Maggie, but their decision to donate his organs caused organ donation rates in Italy to triple in a decade - a result dubbed the "Nicholas effect".

Nicholas Green effect
A Death That Gives Life: A few years ago, the television and print media carried the story of a seven-year-old boy who died in tragic circumstances while on vacation with his family in Italy. People were shocked and outraged as the sad news was reported. But public outrage was soon replaced by wonder and admiration. The boy’s family arranged that all of their son’s vital organs be harvested and donated. As a result, the lives of eight Italians, each of whom received one or more of the child’s healthy organs, were forever changed. For some it meant being able to see again; for others death was postponed because a young vital organ had replaced an aged, defective one. Because organ donation was such a rarity in Italy, the gift of life was all the more remarkable.

This story reminds us of the death of another son, whose dying brought life to so many. If the broken body of the Lord can bring life ours too. In every child birth, a woman’s body is broken and blood poured out in order to bring new life. To become a mother is to celebrate the Eucharist. When I see a calloused hand, a tear furrowed face …. I know the Eucharist is celebrated.

The feast of the Sacred Heart is a continuation of the feast of the corpus Christi.
The Hindus worship the Shiv ling (Shiva linga) since it is considered the source of life. We celebrate the heart as the source of life and love.  Even though the thoughts and emotions originate from the mind, decisions and choices are made in the brain, we always believed they come from the heart. When George Floyd was chocked because the heart could not pump blood into the brain, he died.

heart beats about 100,000 times a day and pumps about 7,200 liters (1,900 gallons) of blood. An adult's body holds about five liters of blood. If you stretched all your blood vessels out, it would be 96,000 km long. That’s how far our hearts can stretch out and touch!

The Human Heart
Throughout the Word of God, the word “heart” occurs approximately 1,000 times in the Hebrew and Greek, though often disguised in translation. As in our modern day English, the word “heart” is used in the Bible to reference our internal physical organ as well as the core center of one’s “inner being” or “the seat of affections” - both of good and of evil. Of the heart Edwards writes: “The exercises of this faculty are of two sorts; either those by which the soul is carried out towards the things that are in view, in approving of them, being pleased with them, and inclined to them; or those in which the soul opposes the things that are in view, in disapproving of them, and in being displeased with them, averse from them, and rejecting them.”6 As we have already seen in Paul’s life, when both natures (both good affections and sinful affections) are at work at the same time, there is a battle within the heart. The Word of God is replete with references to this battle of the two natures within the heart:
1.     My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
2.     Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! (Psalm 119:36)
3.     With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! (Psalm 119:10)
4.     Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. (Psalm 131:1)
5.     The heart knows its own bitterness. (Proverbs 14:10)
6.     Who can say, “1 have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9)
7.     But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. (2 Samuel 24:10)
8.     And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. (1 Kings 11:9)
9.     Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
10.  For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adul­tery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. (Mark 7:21-22)
11.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Basil Moreau grew up amidst the turmoil of post-Revolution France, and as a young priest felt compelled to revitalize a Church devastated by years of civil upheaval. With nearly two-thirds of France’s clergy and religious exiled or killed, Father Moreau organized a group of Auxiliary Priests to preach, teach, and bring the message of Christ to those in neglected towns and villages. Father Moreau gave to each of the three societies a patron. He consecrated the priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the brothers to the pure heart of St. Joseph, and the sisters to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He placed the entire family of Holy Cross under the patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows. Father Moreau, who worked tirelessly for his Congregation of Holy Cross, himself suffered trials of various sorts, including abandonment by his own community. Nevertheless, placing his hope in the Cross of Christ and abandoning himself to Divine Providence, he continued to do the work of God, preaching missions until his health failed. The Marianites of Holy Cross cared for him to the end. He died in Le Mans on January 20, 1873.

“At first [Father Moreau] seems like one of those country priests from whom you do not expect very much, and whose appearance is in no way belied by his Le Mans accent, which pares down even further his great simplicity of speech… After speaking with him for a while, you notice that he has discerning eyes, that his mind is direct, firm and fertile, and that his heart is consumed with love. He is a great man and a saint.”

Blessed Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, chose this feast as one of the patronal feasts especially for the priests. He himself experienced much suffering and rejection and yet his love for the Lord and his mission enthused him to send missionaries to Algeria, Morocco, India/Bangladesh, Quebec, USA with hardly any resources or people to support him and difficult travel conditions, food habits, different languages of the times, seasons and places. Often Moreau was restless and in silent agony until his men and women reached the destinations and communicated back to him which took more than six months sometimes. He often suffered alone, in the silence and our Lady of the Sorrows was his companion during these pain-racked, lonely nights. The last few years of his life, when he was “abandoned” by the congregation he founded he spent his days preaching and living alone and slept very little on a small sedan.

It is beyond our understanding. The Taj Mahal is located on the Jumna River, 125 miles southeast of Delhi, India. It was built in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of his love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child. Shifts of 22,000 men and women worked 24 hours a day for 22 years to complete the project. Twenty-eight gems, including jade and agate, adorn the white marble building. Solid silver doors and a solid gold balustrade enclose the tomb. (It was later plundered by an enemy army.) This monument of one person’s love for another gives us an insight into Christ’s love for us.

How do we show our love for one another and for Christ? Christ loves each of us as if we were the only person in the world to love. (Anonymous)

In the three readings he tells us: The Lord promises that we are sacred to him, i.e. close to his heart because he has chosen us from among so many people and set apart as his own. He has made us his hands and feet and mouth to reach out and pass on his love and his message to others. That is to become his love in a world that has lost the sense of sacrifice, concern and love. During this period of Covid, so many have returned to fulfill this command of the Lord. That’s heartening and encouraging. Even though we are not great among the peoples, we are filled with his wisdom and resources. Though we must take the yokes to follow him, he promised to make it light and easy to carry.

Jesus’ love for us never ends: He never ceases to love us.

Mention Bugs Bunny and people smile. Mention Charles Jones and people frown. But Bugs Bunny owes his fame to Jones, the Hollywood cartoonist who developed the character of Bugs Bunny. Jones’s favorite cartoon character, however, was Pepe LePew, the romantic skunk that appeared in the Looney Tune cartoons. Pepe was forever falling in love with someone. His love was always rejected, however, because of the way Pepe smelled. But that didn’t stop the indomitable Pepe. He kept right on loving. He just refused to give up on people. Although Jones never intended it, Pepe makes a beautiful image of Jesus.
He never gives up on people either, no matter how many times they reject him.
How do we react when people reject our love? "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

Sacred Heart: A Mystery of Love
Author: Br. Nicholas Arthur, C.S.C.
Learn more about the patrons of Holy Cross
The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I would like to continue with another story that sounds rather crass or crude. But I will tell it nonetheless and I hope you will just bear with it, although you might have heard it before. One day the different parts of the body were having an argument to see which is the most important.

"I should be the most important," said the brain, "Because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen."

"I should be the most important," said the blood, "Because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you'd waste away."
"I should be the most important," said the stomach, "Because I process food and give all of you energy."
"I should be the most important," said the legs, "because I carry the body wherever it needs to go."
"I should be the most important," said the eyes, "Because I allow the body to see where it goes."
"I should be the most important," said the rectum, but before he could continue, all the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight.

Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood became toxic. They all had to give in to the rectum and let it be the most important.

As much as it sounds rather crude to talk about such things, yet there is a point to it.
Some parts of our body we give them honour and take care about how they appear, like our hair, our face, etc.

But some parts of our body we cover it because of decency. And because they are covered up, we may not pay that much attention to them.

But they are no less important than those other parts that are exposed.
Earlier you heard a rather crude story. Now let us look at something rather gruesome.

In the gospel, we heard about three bodies hanging on crosses.

Because of the religious festival, the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified and then of the other.

And when they came to Jesus, they found He was already dead. And here is where a soldier did something rather gruesome. The soldier used a lance and pierced His side.

It seems that the dead body of Jesus was subjected to further abuse and the soldiers want His innards to hang out, just to be sure He is dead. That’s really gruesome.

But just as God has the power to change tragedy into victory, what was gruesome became something awesome. The soldier pierced His side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water.

What was pierced and exposed is none other than the heart of Jesus.

And what was exposed is not just an organ, but the very core of Jesus, the very core of His divinity and humanity.

And out of that core, out of the heart of Jesus, flowed forgiveness and healing as symbolized by the water, and also mercy and love as symbolized by the blood.

It is out of this gruesome exposition of the heart of Jesus that evokes in us our reaction and response.

In one the apparitions to St. Margaret Mary, Jesus reported said to her : "Behold the Heart that has so loved men ... instead of gratitude, I receive from the greater part of mankind only ingratitude ...".

During the triduum in preparation of the celebration of the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we came as a community in prayer and devotion to the Sacred Heart and we offered our petitions in the coloured envelopes together with our wounded and weary and wandering hearts.

From a certain perspective, our petition envelopes are like lances that pierce the Heart of Jesus and He offers us His healing and forgiveness, His love and mercy.

But we may become like spiritual consumers – we put in our petition and we expect a response from God.

Pope Pius XI stated that "the spirit of expiation or reparation has always had the first and foremost place in the worship given to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus".

Reparation is the action of making amends for a wrong one has done. Practically it means going for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and frequent reception of Holy Communion, especially Communion on the First Friday of the month, and the observance of the Holy Hour.

True devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus means that we acknowledge that we had not loved Jesus as much as He had loved us, and that we have ignored His love and mercy, even though His wounded exposed Heart is offering us healing and forgiveness.

We, the priests of the parish, will pray for the petitions offered up to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

May love and mercy, healing and forgiveness flow from the wounded and Sacred Heart of Jesus to those who offered up these petitions so that they will love Him more and more.

And as we look deep into the Heart of Jesus and love Him in return, may we also remember that He commanded us to love one another as He has loved us.

To love others may at times be like letting them pierce our hearts with a lance and cause us pain.

But when our hearts are in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, then we will find consolation and be at peace.

And we will go on loving, just as Jesus has shown us in His Sacred Heart, that He will always be loving.

Little Bamboo Shoots’ Growth—Sufferings Are God’s Love

By Li Minghui
One day, I was leaning against a window and browsing the web on my cell phone without much enthusiasm when suddenly a short story caught my attention. This is how the story goes: A boss was at the meal with his employees. One of the employees, who suffers a severe myopic, mistook an orange for an apple and bit into it, which provoked a lot of laughter. However, only one employee not only didn’t laugh but passed a cup of fruit juice to the man.
The next day, the boss invited his employees to have dinner again. He picked up the same orange as that employee bit the day before and took a large mouthful of it. Seeing this, all the other employees followed him to eat oranges while only the one didn’t do so who passed the fruit juice to his colleague the day before. At this moment, the boss announced that this employee would be appointed as his assistant. The reason was that, at the last dinner party, this employee was the only one who didn’t laugh at his colleague making a mistake but instead passed him the juice, and at this party, he was also the only one who didn’t blindly follow his boss.
When reflecting on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus we are reminded of the model life of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was canonized in October, 1982. Born in Poland in 1894, when he was old enough to answer God’s calling, Maximilian joined the religious congregation of the Franciscans. By 1927, he had founded a house for those who wished to enter the religious life. In 1941, while appointed as the superior of the Polish community, he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Auschwitz. Twelve weeks after his arrival at the prison camp, a prisoner escaped.
In retaliation, ten men were chosen at random to die of starvation. One of the chosen men was a young father. Shining in the love of Jesus, Father Maximilian offered to take the place of the young man. The offer was accepted and on August 14, 1941, Fr. Maximilian died of starvation after suffering with nine others in the prison. In this act of self-sacrifice, we perceive true Christian love. Here, one man gave his life for another on the Day of Judgment, when the young father was condemned to death. Those who obeyed the commandments of God as Father Maximilian obeyed them; they have come to know God. In them, the love of God has reached perfection. By embracing the same obedience to the Commandments in the love of Jesus Christ, we know that we are in Jesus and that Jesus is in us.

The Promises made to St Margaret Mary

The Lord Jesus revealed to St Margaret Mary the following promises to those souls who would honour the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:
  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 all 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 honoured
  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 you 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 perseverance; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment
Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as we all know, is an important occasion for Holy Cross, as that marks the patronal feast of our priests. However, besides being particularly important for all Holy Cross members, it is a unique occasion in the life of the Church. As such, every Christian and for that matter every Catholic may ask: Of what relevance is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to us? What does this celebration remind us of and how significant is it in our Christian discipleship today?
The human heart is located in a place in the body that is not visible to the eye. However, it plays a very important role in the functioning and vitality of the body. Biologists and human anatomists hold the conviction that the heart pumps about 100,000 times a day. This pumping action is to keep the blood flowing, thus giving life to the human person. Without the heart, so to speak, there is no life. One can therefore identify the heart with the very self of the human being; the heart is you and you are the heart.
For us as humans, the heart may also be perceived as the seat of our emotions and especially of love. It can be said that the heart is the wellspring of our emotional life and especially of our love. It therefore comes as no surprise that the heart is generally seen as the symbol of life and love. The heart is the center of our being as humans.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus, therefore, may be seen to express the unconditional, the unquenchable, and the inexhaustible and self-giving love of God that brings life to humankind. Love is the motive for all that Jesus was about -- the sole reason for the incarnation, the ministry, the passion, the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Fathers Brendan McAleer, Timothy Weed, and Christopher Brennan
And this love that flowed from Jesus, the bearer of the Sacred Heart (cf Jn 3:16), enabled Jesus give life to humanity. The lame walked; the blind could see; the dead were raised; and above all the human race attained salvation through the supreme and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus -- a sacrifice borne out of deep love for the world. The love was sacred; the love was pure, the love was genuine, the love was total, the love was visible and real, and that love flowed from the heart of Jesus; the Sacred Heart, the heart devoid of all stain of sin (cf Hebrews. 4:15).
Like the human heart that remains hidden in the body, enclosed in the rib-cage, yet performs very significant and important function in the sustenance and the vitality of the body, so is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The love from the Sacred Heart remains a mystery, yet sustains and gives life to humanity. A love that is scandalous to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks (cf 1Cor. 1:23); because it transcends human understanding and comprehension, for God to empty Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself the form of a servant (cf Phil. 2:6ff), all just for the full and unflinching love and salvation of humanity.
What greater love can one give than to lay down his life for his friends? Even on the cross, the Sacred Heart of Jesus was wounded by piercing with a lance (Jn 19:34). According to Pope Pius XII, this cruel act of piercing was perpetrated on Jesus “so that through the visible wound we may behold the invisible wound of love” (cf. Haurietis aquas, 87).
How do we, as humans and beneficiaries of this total and self-giving love, respond to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? We cannot but take seriously the commandment of Jesus to “love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (Jn 13:34). The Sacred Heart of Jesus therefore is the image and the symbol that expresses the mission of the disciple of Jesus Christ, the beneficiary of this unflinching divine love. The mission of the disciple is therefore to proclaim the infinite and the self-giving love of the Sacred Heart to the world, and to engage in concrete activities that give life and vitality to the world. Having received a share in this infinite, total, unflinching, inexhaustible and self giving love of God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, the disciple has the binding responsibility to witness this love in words and deeds.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, by Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC
Witnessing to the love as manifested by the Sacred Heart means to bring all peoples, especially the poor, the needy and the disadvantaged, to encounter and have a share in this love. This calls for a deepening in our commitment to Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). With this mission, we would do well to heed to the exhortation of Pope Francis in the Encyclical, Evangelii Gaudium, that “each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society … it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter” (EG 187-188).
And so we pray:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in your love.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your Kingdom Come!
Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame
There is a legend in the Catholic Church that the soldier who pierced the side of Christ (John 19:34), whom we know as Saint Longinus, experienced a sudden conversion when the blood of Jesus ran down the shaft of the spear onto the hands of Saint Longinus, who then touched his eyes with his hands. The truth of our Lord, that which was previously hidden from Longinus the soldier, became immediately clear.
From darkness to light, from duty to choice, from hatred to love, in an instant the hardened heart of the soldier became one with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Saint Longinus’ conversion story provides a glimpse into our devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion to help us align our hearts (symbolically to mean our love) with His, to ponder the depth of His love for us, including His wounds, and to see the manifestations of His love in our lives, in His Church and in the world. This contemplation of the Most Sacred Heart compelled Saint Longinus to commit his life to Christ’s love, as it has inspired countless others to do the same, including Blessed Basil Moreau who in founding the Congregation of Holy Cross, named the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus as patron of his community of priests, a patronage that has guided and protected Holy Cross for 175 years.
Our reflection on the love of Christ is not complete if our focus is exclusively as “recipients” of the great gift of this love for us. Certainly, we are the beneficiaries of the profound and infinite love of Jesus which we see, as did Longinus, in gazing upon the cross. But to engage more deeply in this love, we must understand not just the gift, but the Giver, and to know the Giver, we must touch His Most Sacred Heart.
Our commemoration of and devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us of the fullness of His love for us and calls us into a deeper Communion. As we come to know the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we come to know His virtues and His teachings, His inner life and His infinite love. We will find our lives transformed as did Saint Longinus, so with our eyes we will see His truth, with our hands we will hold His body and blood and with our hearts we will love as the Master has shown us love.
*The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a movable Feast, which means that it depends on the date of Easter Sunday. It is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost Sunday, which falls on the 50th day of Easter. 
The readings: Deut 7, 6-11, 1 John 4, 7-16, Matthew 11, 25-30
Today we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion which 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, but it is to honour and love God which is the heart of our faith and is centered on the heart of Jesus as the emblem of Divine love.  This Feast has been a Solemnity in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar since 1856, and is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost. Even though there has been the devotion to the sacred Heart from the early days of the church we have from the eleventh and twelfth centuries the first unmistakable indications of devotions to the Sacred Heart in the Benedictine or Cistercian monasteries. The most significant source for the devotion to the Sacred Heart is from the revelation to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), who claimed to have received visions of Jesus Christ. The revelations were numerous, and the church has accepted these to be real and deeply spiritual. In one of the apparitions, Jesus allowed Margaret Mary to rest her head upon His Heart during which time He revealed to her the wonders of His love, telling her that He desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of His goodness, and that He had chosen her for this work. It was on June 11, 1899 Pope Leo XIII solemnly consecrated the whole mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1928 Pope Pius XI approved the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
For us Christians the word “Sacred Heart of Jesus” symbolizes the divine love of Jesus.  Today’s readings explain the meaning of Divine love. They explain to us of a love that flows from God towards us, through our spiritual growth by the sanctifying power and grace of the Holy Spirit.  The love of God may well be a choice by God who is utterly free and not bound in any way, but it remains a love for those who are unworthy. It is a foolish love. There is an absurdity about it. There is no way of possibly explaining the absurdity of the figure of Christ upon the cross because the explanation is found in an equally absurd love. From this foolishness of God came our salvation. Jesus breathed forth the Spirit as he died upon the cross and from his wounded side flowed the life giving waters of baptism and the precious blood of the Eucharist. In giving up his life he gave it up not just for us, but to us. We are so used to baptism and Eucharist that we forget that they issued forth from his broken body and his pierced heart.
In today’s First Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people of Israel that they are a people holy to the Lord their God; the Lord God has chosen them out of all the peoples on earth to be His own, to make them his treasured possession.  In fact we read similar words in the Book of Exodus, where God tells the people that if they obey God’s voice and keep his Covenant, they shall be his treasured possession out of all the people and they shall be for him a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.  The history of Israel tells us that God reached out to his people and made a Covenant with them. Over time, the Covenant was broken and people turned away from God, refusing to obey His commandments. The reading ends with powerful Words of God where he tells them that they must know that the Lord their God is a faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations, and who repays in their own person those who reject Him. He does not delay but repays to those who reject Him. Therefore, they must observe diligently the commandment – the statutes, and the ordinances which he is giving them. These Words command us to obey the ways of God. Those who do so, they shall be blessed. Those who reject God, they shall be judged accordingly.
In today’s Second Reading from the First Letter of John tells us about the love of God and the love to our brothers and sisters. Faith in Christ and the manifestation of love towards others are the twin signs of fellowship with God. If we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, we love God and we have fellowship with God. If we mistreat them and are disrespectful towards them we are not born of God and we do not know God. John tells us that God is love.  As children of God, we must love one another because love is from God. The manifestation of our love towards others has its origin from God. This origin does not come to us as from a source; it is itself the very essence of God.  God’s love has been manifested for us, even before we were born. This love is his free gift to us. It is a love that could not possibly be motivated by any worthiness of human action. In this reading John tells us that since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.  Again he says that if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us.  Through the indwelling of the Spirit of God, we come to the realization that we do possess the greatly valued Divine life of God. The proof that we possess the Divine life of God is not in our own testimony. It is manifested through the active Presence of the Holy Spirit in our love, our works, the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit that shine through us as lights in the world.
The Gospel Reading of today concludes with the invitation of Jesus to each one of us: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  He tells us that those who come to him will find relief from the many hardships and burdens of life.  In Jesus all will find their rest. He is the true Sabbath. The old ways, be they law or traditions are a burden for the people.  The wisdom of Jesus’ teaching is like having a yoke without stress or burden. To have an easy yoke and a light burden is an apparent contradiction.  But only those who believe in Jesus can be recipients of such a grace. His wisdom surpasses that of the so-called wise and the learned.  Indeed we expect the consoling words of Jesus of light burden and easy yoke, but nowhere does he tell us that he will take away the burden from us. He promises refreshment and rest from the storms and stress of life.
In this gospel passage Jesus thanks the Father for the gift of revelation of faith to ordinary and simple persons like the fishermen and men he chose from ordinary situations of life to be his disciples and hiding it all from the so called wise and intelligent persons of the time.  He praises the child-like simplicity of his disciples who were the right persons to accept the message of Jesus. The acceptance of this message of Jesus in the simplicity of a child is based on the fact that it is rooted in the revelation of the Father to the Son. The unique relationship allows the Son to communicate the full reality of the Father to whomsoever the son wishes.  The disciples or the childlike persons are the beneficiaries of this grace.  The wise and the learned do not access to this level of divine revelation and thus they are left in ignorance, manifested in rejection.  In many ways this relationship between the Father and the Son reminds one of the divine mutuality expressed in the Gospel of John.  Ultimately it is the divine plan that he chooses those to whom he can reveal the word of God and the Divine Mystery.
The invitation to the weary and the burdened is an invitation to the poor who have had the good news proclaimed to them. They are “the blind who receive their sight, the lame who walk, the lepers who are cleansed, the deaf who hear, the dead who are raised, and the poor who have good news brought to them.” Spiritually speaking, these are the spiritually blind whose eyes have been opened to the truth. They are those who have been hurt and who have found the strength to persist in their faith. They are those who living in mortal sin has reconciled with God and the Church. They are the hardened hearts who have opened their hearts to God, those walking in darkness who have found the Light, and those who hungering for the truth, have found the way and the life that can only come from our Lord Jesus Christ.  When one submits himself in humility and obedience to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the peace and joy that he receives in the love of God is so overwhelming that the yoke becomes easy, the burden being light. The recompense that one receives from living in the love of Jesus is so great that life obstacles, no matter how great they are, become meaningless. It is no longer the individual who is carrying the crosses of life; it is Jesus Himself.
We have the own words of Jesus for the fact that our Lord’s love for us is a sweet yoke and a light burden for us to carry. In our better moments, especially when we succeed in putting into practice some particular act requiring self-denial in the interest of service to another or in resisting temptation against God’s law, we experience the joy that does indeed make the yoke sweet. But we do not have to live too long before we find that fidelity to God can weigh heavily upon us. At times it seems impossible to practice forgiveness from the heart, especially when we feel betrayed by one we have trusted. The burden can feel very heavy when we are subjected day after day to petty annoyances, insensitivity, lack of appreciation. It requires no great exercise of imagination to draw up a lengthy list of situations in which we feel anything but the lightness and sweetness of love as we strive to implement the Lord’s commandments.
We are reminded today that, in the “Sacred Heart” is revealed the mystery of the Divine Mind of Jesus as God. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus affirms Jesus was God-man, is one of the Three Divine Presences of the Holy Trinity. While the symbolic picture of the human heart echoes a Heart of Flesh of the human nature, the “Divine Mind” that is synonym to “Sacred Heart,” echoes the Divine nature. As the Holy Catholic Church teaches, in Christ, God manifested as man, the Divine nature cannot be separated from the human nature. Today, let us express our love to this sacred Heart to whom are families are consecrated and place our total trust in him and run to him in our problems and need. This sacred heart which is burning with love for us will protect us and care for us and give us the peace and tranquility.
Christ, in his appearances to Margaret Mary, has promised many blessings to those who practice devotion to his Sacred Heart. Accordingly Jesus promises all the graces necessary for their state of life; peace in their families; consolation in all their troubles; their refuge in life and especially in death; abundantly bless all their undertakings; he will be infinite ocean of mercy. He promised to bless those places wherein the image of the Sacred Heart will be exposed and venerated and will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts. Finally the promise that his all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die without receiving the sacraments; and the Sacred Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.