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. 

Liturgy

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Cycle B – Jn 19:31-37

Commentary

After the grueling abuse leading up to His Crucifixion and suffering on the Cross, Jesus gives up His spirit. To ensure Jesus is really dead, a Roman centurion (St. Longinus, who later converted and became a saint), pierced the side of Jesus with a spear, releasing a spectacular supernatural flow of blood and water from His Heart; the Church venerates Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart as, a “symbolic image of His love and a witness of our redemption.”

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, crux, meaning, “cross”) in the 1100s who had been strengthened in battle against the Muslim armies by the Five 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 1600s. 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 the many graces that 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 Jesus 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) that 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.