Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is an important celebration, held 19 days after Pentecost. The Sacred Heart of Jesus not only represents his physical heart, but his love for all the world. This day helps us to remember this love and sacrifice of love through Jesus' death. We read further about this celebration and learn:"The first feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated on August 31, 1670, in Rennes, France, through the efforts of Fr. Jean Eudes (1602-1680). From Rennes, the devotion spread, but it took the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) for the devotion to become universal.In all of these visions, in which Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus played a central role. The "great apparition," which took place on June 16, 1675, during the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, is the source of the modern Feast of the Sacred Heart. In that vision, Christ asked St. Margaret Mary to request that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on the Friday after the octave (or eighth day) of the Feast of Corpus Christi, in reparation for the ingratitude of men for the sacrifice that Christ had made for them". Jesus' heart is so much more than we can comprehend.
Today's Gospel states:'At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light"' (Matthew 11:25-30).
The Gospel tells us that there is so much that we do not understand about God's love, and we never will, as we are only human. Through Jesus, God reveals his love to the world and as Christ died and rose from thee grave, he became a symbol of unending and sacrificial love for the world. Think about how a married couple is to love one another, fully and completely, sacrificing for one another ad staying true and devoted until death. Now try to imagine the love Christ shows us as he endures the nails, and is suffering on the cross. This love is so much deeper, so much greater than anything we could ever give. Let us take time to remember Christ's love for us today, and ask God to help us be loving and have hearts like Jesus.
Today's prayer comes from 'CatholicOnline' a prayer to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:
O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.