Friday, June 12 ~ Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Holy Gospel: John 19:31-37 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with Him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness – his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth – that you also may believe. For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” And again another scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”
Meditation: Have you ever come to meditate in order to know in a deeper and more profound way the heart of Jesus? To better understand His Sacred Heart, which was pierced for your sake and mine? Of all the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death, John mentions that the soldiers pierced his heart with a lance. This was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 12:10: “when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him.” The heart of Jesus was pierced for our sake – each of us. He willingly went to the cross and laid down his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. If we want to understand the depth and breadth of God’s love for each of us, then look upon the heart that was pierced for you and for me. That is the reason Jesus went to the cross, to redeem us from slavery to sin and death. True love does not count the cost, but gives everything for the beloved. God proved his love for us by sending us his beloved Son who withheld nothing from us but gave everything he had for our sake. Saint Paul the Apostle tells us that “Jesus loved us and gave himself up for us – a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). God’s love is perfect and complete because God is merciful, just, and forgiving.
Prayer: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son and recall the wonders of his love for us, may be made worthy to receive an overflowing measure of grace from that fount of heavenly gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: On May 25 1899, Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Annum Sacrum, declared that all Catholics should consecrate themselves to the Christ’s Sacred Heart, and his intention to solemnly consecrate all mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus — although the Pope pointed out that this would simply be giving Christ what is already His: “[In His infinite goodness and love, He in no way objects to our giving and consecrating to Him what is already His, as if it were really our own; nay, far from refusing such an offering, He positively desires it and asks for it: ‘My son, give me thy heart.’ We are, therefore, able to be pleasing to Him by the good will and the affection of our soul. For by consecrating ourselves to Him we not only declare our open and free acknowledgment and acceptance of His authority over us, but we also testify that if what we offer as a gift were really our own, we would still offer it with our whole heart. We also beg of Him that He would vouchsafe to receive it from us, though clearly His own. Such is the efficacy of the act of which we speak, such is the meaning underlying our words. And since there is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love one another, therefore is it fit and proper that we should consecrate ourselves to His most Sacred Heart – an act which is nothing else than an offering and a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, seeing that whatever honor, veneration and love is given to this divine Heart is really and truly given to Christ Himself.”
Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;
prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;
information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.