Today is the great solemnity of THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS. Below is the gospel and commentary. As an exercise in prayer, consider saying 10 times slowly and prayerfully my granny’s favourite prayer: SACRED HEART OF JESUS, I PLACE ALL MY TRUST IN THEE.
Gospel Matthew 11:25-30
I am gentle and humble in heart.
‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere 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 1 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.’
The Word of the Lord
Gospel Reflection Friday, Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Matthew 11:25-30
My parents’ and grandparents’ generation and the generations before them often had an image of the Sacred Heart in their homes, very often with a little red light burning in front of it. Here was an image that spoke powerfully to people. It was an image that somehow brought Jesus close to people. This image with its little red light before it was a powerful reminder to people that the Lord was present to them in a very personal and loving way at the heart of their lives, with its trials and tribulations. The image of Jesus with his pierced heart prominently displayed speaks to us of a divine love, of God’s love revealed in Jesus, especially in his death. The second reading this morning makes the very simple but profound statement, ‘God is Love’ and then declares that God’s love was revealed for us when God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life. That is what we are celebrating today, God’s life-giving love for us revealed in his Son. It was this love that people somehow felt touched by in and through the image of the Sacred Heart. Having been touched by God’s love through this image, people felt a desire to respond to that love in some way. That is what Jesus calls for in the gospel reading today when he turns towards the crowd and says to them ‘come to me’. It is the invitation of a love that is greater than any human love, and that promises a gift that is greater than any human gift, the gift of ‘rest for your souls’. Our souls are restless, Saint Augustine said, until they rest in God. Because Jesus is God’s love in human form, he can give rest to our restless souls if we come to him.
The Gospel reflection comes from WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS: To know the love of Christ 2016/2017 by Martin Hogan published by The Messenger c/f www.messenger.ie