The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Faith so he can perceive and receive great blessings from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and by growing in the Virtue of Piety so he can discern if he is being called to a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Cycle A – Mt 11:25-30
After severely rebuking the unrepentant cities (Mt 11:20-24), Jesus now offers a privileged glimpse into the intimacy of the Trinity by His prayer to the Father, a powerful blessing that reveals the closeness of the Father and the Son, and demonstrates how men can draw closer to God. Jesus reveals His Sacred Heart, a heart that is “lowly” and yet full of infinite love, and calls for men to take on His “yoke” and be bound to Him in the work of building His Kingdom.
The devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus began to be spread in the wake of the returning Knights of the Crusades (from the Latin for “cross”) in the 1100’s who had been strengthened in battle by the 5 Sacred Wounds of Jesus (His heart, His hands and His feet). The devotion of various saints to Christ’s Sacred Heart for over 500 years gained broader acceptance following the apparitions of Jesus Christ to St. Margret Mary Alacoque in the late 1600’s. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII, after extensive investigation, consecrated the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since then, several popes have reiterated many graces flow from devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was established as an annual Solemnity; it is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost on a Friday (the day of the week Christ was crucified).
The Church acknowledges Christ’s 12 promises communicated to St. Margret Mary Alacoque to those who practice the devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. Christ promises those devoted to His Sacred Heart will receive abundant graces in their lives, including sufficient grace for a soul’s state of life, peace in families, consolation in troubles, fervency in faith, and great growth in holiness and perfection; most powerfully, those who receive Communion on the First Friday for nine consecutive months will receive the grace of final repentance and Christ promises that His Heart will be their secure refuge in their final hour.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Ponder in your heart the Divine Power of Jesus in His Sacred Heart: the Roman soldiers confirm (and even stab His heart) Jesus is actually dead; Divine Priest, even in death, fulfills ancient prophecies and, through the gushing of His water and blood from His heart, pre-figures the Sacrament of Baptism (water) and the Sacrament of the Eucharist (blood); despite being gruesomely killed and stabbed in the heart, Jesus will be miraculously raised from the dead three days later on Easter.
Be blessed by the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Realize: On this Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Church turns attention to Christ’s heart-felt closeness, reverence, gratitude, and obedience to the Father and His deep desire to save all men.
Believe: Reflect upon the Heart of the Incarnate Word (CCC 478).
Pray: Jesus, Sacred Heart, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I have an absolute belief in Your infinite personal love for me, and I am blessed to be drawn ever closer to Your Sacred Heart.
Discern a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Realize: To St. Margret Mary Alacoque was revealed the blessed promises to those who devote themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Believe: Research the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Pray: St. Margret Mary, pray for me to grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I may love the Sacred Heart of Jesus and discern if He is calling me to make His Sacred Heart a central part of my devotional life.