The Heart of it all: Weekly Message for 06-06-2023

Dear Friends in Christ,

The novena preceding the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus begins this week.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart is something we all have all likely heard about.  It focuses on the physical heart of Jesus, which is fittingly adored as part his sacred humanity. But the ultimate object of the devotion is the love of Jesus, symbolized in his heart.

Put another way, it is Jesus’ infinite love and his great thirst for our souls that give us the target of our devotion. This celebration of his love is what should shape us and transform us, and lift our gaze beyond the day-to-day struggles of this world.

Jesus came not as a political liberator or ideologue but as an apostle of his Father’s love for mankind. Recognizing that love is what motivated Christ is the key to understanding the Gospel accounts. It is what should give us our own key to interpreting our own meaning and mission in this world.

We were created out of love and are sustained by love at every second of our existence. Ideally, the love of God that showers on us should be reflected in how we deal with others.

Sometimes this will require us to show tough love. We might need to witness to the truth as revealed by God, even at the risk of alienating friends and family.

How do we do that and still maintain a sense of joy? By imitating the Heart of Jesus, who never abandoned us even after our sins nailed him to a cross.  To help focus on that Heart, consider looking at our Fire and Thorns retreat guide.

And remember, the Heart that was pierced on Calvary is still here to sustain us. It is the Heart of our faith, the Heart of our hope.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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