Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus/ World Day of Prayer for Priests
Bible Text: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” Matthew 11.25-30
Today we are celebrating the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It originated from the beatific vision of Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque, a nun and mystic wherein Jesus Himself expressed His desire to reveal His loving heart to mankind.
In her first vision, she saw Christ being scourged. Saint John in the second reading mentioned that He loves us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. The kind of love that Jesus has manifested before us is not just about doing physical miracles but an offering of his very life. He did not just spend his life by feeding those who are hungry, healing the sick and raising the dead back to life but He was made to suffer, carried his cross and died on Calvary. He was wounded and poured out his blood on the cross. He Himself said that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. Therefore the best kind of love is not material but surrendering one’s life to the point of death. This is the very essence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
When she entered the convent to pursue her promise to the Lord to live a celibate and contemplative life, she tried to share her revelations about Jesus which was not appreciated by the Mother Superior and eventually dismissed her. This rejection affected her health that she nearly died. This rejection and illness gave her more opportunities to be united to the sufferings of Jesus. The gospel is inviting that we have to carry his yoke if we want to learn from Him. It is not through the power of intelligence that we will know Jesus and understand everything about him but it is loving Jesus through our sufferings. It is in this sense that we should not have the impression our misfortunes as curse or punishment but a rare opportunity to know better the Lord Jesus. It is in embracing our own sufferings that we will know who really Jesus is.
We also call this very day the world day of prayer for priests. May I ask each one of you to offer a prayer for priests all throughout the world that our hearts may be shaped after the heart of Jesus. This is the best gift that that you can offer for us, a humble heart is the best gift that we can offer for the world. Pray that we may become priests of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To live in the midst of the world without enjoying its pleasures; To be a member of each family, yet belonging to none; To share all suffering; to penetrate all secrets; To heal all wounds; to go from men to God and offer Him their prayers; To return from God to men to bring pardon and hope; To have a heart of fire for Charity, and a heart of bronze for Chastity To teach and to pardon, console and bless always. My God, what a life; and it is yours, O PRIEST of Jesus Christ.