Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Me This Grace Was Given

June 19, 2009

Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

By Melanie Rigney

My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not a man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you. (Hosea 11:8-9)

With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)

To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens. (Ephesians 3:8-10)

(W)hen they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. (John 19:333-35)


From the depth of my nothingness, I prostrate myself before Thee, O Most Sacred, Divine and Adorable Heart of Jesus, to pay Thee all the homage of love, praise and adoration in my power.Amen. —St. Margaret Mary Alacoque


It’s easy to be good at the symbols of faith. We’ve probably all known Catholics who hung one of those framed pictures of a bleeding heart of Jesus, draped a few palm fronds around it, and called it good.

But when Christ appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675, he didn’t ask her to have people worship a picture—or a literal heart, for that matter. She says she saw his heart, then placed her heart in his and giving her a piece of his flaming heart. In Revelations of Our Lord to St. Mary Margaret Alacoque, she wrote:

(He) showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure Him all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which His heart is the source.

Pope Benedict illumined the matter further four years ago:

In biblical language, “heart” indicates the center of the person where his sentiments and intentions dwell. In the Heart of the Redeemer we adore God's love for humanity, his will for universal salvation, his infinite mercy. Practicing devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ therefore means adoring that Heart which, after having loved us to the end, was pierced by a spear and from high on the Cross poured out blood and water, an inexhaustible source of new life.

Meditating on the Sacred Heart can bring us comfort and provide a meaningful connection to Christ. But if we truly adore him, we don’t stop there. We seek to emulate his life, to bring others to him, to see him in others and to let others see him in us. We don’t have to be rich or smart or perfectly pious to do that; in fact, St. Paul in today’s second reading calls himself “the very least of all the holy ones.” How worthy we think we are is not the point. We are called to share “the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to the light of all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God.”

Just as Christ’s water and blood flowed out of his physical body after his crucifixion, so we are called to let his love flow out of us to let others learn of the joy of our God’s salvation. Let it flow freely; this is not a time for conservation.


Identify a favorite teaching of Jesus. Journal about how that lesson helps you draw water at the fountain of salvation... and what you can do to quench the thirst of others.