Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus this morning, it should be a reminder for us about how we are called to love as disciples and followers of Jesus. Jesus’ heart was a human heart and, because of that, He experienced the same emotions that we feel: joy, peace, love, sorrow, grief, pain, suffering, anger, disappointment. That means that He can relate to us and walk with us through all of the situations that life throws our way. It is in that Sacred Heart that we can encounter the Lord present with us in the midst of all the experiences we face.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a powerful reminder of the love of Christ poured out for us all. In it we see the love of God, the love which created the heavens and the earth; a love which created humankind and then redeemed us in our fallen nature. But the Sacred Heart is also one of fully human love; one which expressed itself in the love of Jesus for His Mother; the love of Jesus for His disciples, and the love which He showed to all those whom He encountered in ministry. It was a love that was able to forgive those who nailed Him to a cross.
The things we experience in life can sometimes make us feel disconnected from the overwhelming, and frankly incomprehensible, divine love which created us and sustains us. When that happens, it is the Sacred Heart that should remind us of all the human heart is capable of. It was this human heart of Christ which loved to its fullest extent and which rebukes us for our lack of love toward God and neighbor. It is a heart which can teach us that, through grace, we, too, are capable of loving in the same way.
One look at Jesus’ heart should melt us, convert us and inspire us to give our hearts in return. And so we’re invited to have a devotion to the Sacred Heart because it is a way for us to encounter the fullness of the Gospel, the good news of God’s saving love poured out for us in Jesus Christ. As we steadily progress in our knowledge of and communion with the Lord, we will fall ever more deeply in love with Jesus and live out that transforming and redemptive relationship in every detail of our lives. It’s this devotion that unites our minds, hearts and wills in one great act of offering – a total gift of the self to the One who has first offered himself completely to and for us.