Friday, June 3, 2106

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

(Ezekiel 34:11-16; Romans 5:5b-11; Luke 15:3-7)

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy today’s feast takes on special prominence.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus has universally symbolized God’s mercy.  It is found on the famous portrait of Divine Mercy that was envisioned by Saint Faustina.  In another popular artistic representation the Sacred Heart is burning with love for whoever comes to the Lord.

In the second reading St. Paul expresses the principal sense of God’s mercy.  He says that God shows his love by dying on behalf of sinners.  This action has justified humans so that they no longer need to hang their heads in guilt.  But Paul does not limit his vision of mercy to justification.  He sees the grace of Christ working within the saved to produce merciful acts that merit salvation.  It is as if men and women were once like unruly teens that went through basic Marine Corps training and rendered not only capable of defending their country but also of modeling proper respect for all.

We thank God for the many ways that He has shown us His mercy.  He has given us powerful images that remind us of His love.  He has given us the Scriptures in which we encounter Christ, our Savior.  Most of all, He has imparted to us His Holy Spirit so that we might love others with similar self-sacrifice.