SOLEMNITY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Dt 7: 6-11
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you—for you were the fewest of all peoples. It was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath that he swore to your ancestors, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the 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 in their own person those who reject him. Therefore, observe diligently the commandment—the statutes and the ordinances—that I am commanding you today.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
The Gift of Jesus’ Love
As a budding convert to Christianity and to Catholicism in my late-30’s, the images of the Sacred Heart were most innately and immediately attractive to me. I don’t mean in the sense that they were more beautiful or aesthetically pleasing than other images, though that oftentimes was the case. But there was something intriguing about Jesus’ flaming heart, and his arm and hand stretching towards his heart.
My initial recollection was just that I would stare at his heart and wonder why it was burning and how it wouldn’t go out. It then followed that Jesus wanted to show me his heart by framing it with his hand. Upon greater reflection, it seems that Jesus isn’t just showing, but actively sharing and giving his Sacred Heart to me. It is a very personal gesture, with a kindness on his face that evokes a deep, attractive peace within me.
Today’s readings all speak of God’s love. The Deuteronomy passage says: “The Lord set his heart on you and chose you.” God loves us by choice. Isn’t it marvelous that the Lord is focused on us? God’s love for us is no accident.
The second reading from first John offers more: God’s gift of love is a gift to be given back to one another. We experience God’s love with the intent that we love others with that same love and in those same ways.
Can I imagine myself living in the manner of the Sacred Heart? Towards whom, and for what, does my heart yearn and burn with love? Whom do I reach out to with the gift of Jesus’ love…or not?
—Fr. Glen Chun, S.J. serves in campus ministry at Loyola University Chicago and is also minister of the Loyola Jesuit Community.
Come, lovable heart of Jesus. Place your heart deep in the center of our hearts and enkindle in each heart a flame of love as strong and great as the sum of all reasons that I have for loving you, my God.
O holy heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in my heart. May I live only in you and only for you so that, in the end, I may live eternally with you in heaven. Amen!
—St. Claude LaColombiere, S.J.