Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
At that time Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
Today the Church wants to show us especially the love of the Saviour. Through a so-called private revelation the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus found its way into the liturgy of the Church. To Saint Margaret Maria Alacoque, Jesus had said: “See this heart that has loved men so much!”
And indeed, it can never be stressed enough how great Jesus’ love for his Father and for us is. This faith should permeate us in order to open up his presence more fully, because we live from love and through love.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus already showed itself to us on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, because in the Eucharist the Sacred Heart of Jesus is always alive, always ready to satisfy the hunger of those who often suffer the tribulations of life and are in search of peace and healing. It is precisely in the Holy Eucharist that Jesus meets us with great gentleness and invites us to dwell in his love. Teachers of the spiritual life recommend that we remain in silent prayer after receiving Holy Communion, so that the grace received from the Eucharistic presence of the Lord can sink deeper into our hearts and we become more receptive to the love of Jesus. But the invitation to the Holy Eucharist is not only valid in the sense of strengthening us on our way, who are always poor and needy, but it is the “marriage feast of the Lamb” to which we are invited, so that we may already on earth receive the presence of Christ and assure ourselves of his love.
We are invited to contemplate especially the love of Jesus on this feast: First in the sense of eternal uncreated love, as he loved us from eternity with the Father and the Holy Spirit and decided to become a human being for our salvation; and then in the created love, with which he loved us as human beings so much that he died for us on the cross.
We encounter this love every day in the most diverse ways, if we are able to discover it.
In today’s Gospel, the Lord speaks especially of his goodness in calling to himself those who suffer the burdens of this life, so that they may find rest in his heart: his heart is the place where they can rest, where they are at home, where they receive comfort and know that they are not alone. It is especially hard when you suffer and think no one can understand it, when you fear that you are only a burden to others.
But the Lord assures that in those who come to him the yoke is transformed, it becomes the yoke of Jesus. Even if the Lord does not promise that all the burdens of life will be taken away with it, everything is transformed by the love of the Redeemer!
This love now invites to be loved again because we know that love is only then completely fulfilled when it is answered.
As Leo XIII said: “The holiest heart is the symbol and image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ, a love that impels us to love in return”. (Annum sacrum)
The feast and veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus should lead us there. Perhaps it is a mystery that only reveals itself to simple souls, as addressed by the Lord above. But when the soul begins to realize that God is love, then it also begins to penetrate into the mystery of the infinite love that surrounds it, it begins to understand the love of God, the love of Jesus for us.
Through the experience of divine love and through our response, the life of following Christ takes on a different splendour, a different lightness. It is becoming increasingly difficult for us to see the faith journey more as an obligation and not as an invitation of love! Love gives you wings!