Week of June 19, 2022

A Note From Fr. LeRoy

June is often referred to as the Month of the Sacred Heart, since we celebrate a special day in the month called, The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. (This year, it is this coming Friday on June 24th.) The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart dates back to Pope Clement XIII in 1765 when he approved it for use in his diocese. It was later extended for the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX in 1856, then 43 years later Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical letter in 1899 "Annum Sacrum" dedicating the whole Catholic world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. So, we see how the Sacred Heart of Jesus has a strong place in our Catholic Tradition. The Solemnity is always the first Friday after the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).

The concept of the Sacred Heart of Jesus also has strong biblical roots as well! From our gospels we hear Jesus say, "my heart is moved with pity" just before He multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry crowd. We hear how Jesus offered to help carry our burdens, by inviting us to share his yoke for He is "meek and humble of heart" (Mt. 11,29). We hear how Jesus's heart was moved to tears as He wept over ancient Jerusalem for its lack of faith. How Jesus' "heart was sorrowful even unto death" as he suffered his Agony in the Garden before his crucifixion death. After Jesus died, we read how Jesus's heart was pierced by a lance as blood and water flowed out from his side, symbols of Baptism and Eucharist. So, it is clear that the heart of our Lord had an important role to play in our salvation. It was his heart that moved Him from life to death and to His risen life again.

With this in mind, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a beautiful reminder that, although He is truly God, Jesus also had a heart of human flesh and blood like us. Jesus had all the feelings a real heart brings, a great capacity for compassion and love, a heart that rejoices with others, and yet a heart that can feel loneliness, abandonment, and pain. There is probably nothing you or I have experienced in our heart that Jesus had not also experienced in his heart as well. This should be encouraging and inspiring to us so that we might have the courage to have a "heart to heart" talk with God! No other religion can speak in those terms in relationship to our God. So, may the Sacred Heart of Jesus always guide and protect us from evil in Christ! Words to Live by: "Sometimes Jesus calms the storm. Sometimes He calms the person in the storm instead."

Fr. LeRoy Scheierl