Friday, June 19, 1998
First Reading: Ezekiel 34: 11-16
Psalms: Psalm 23: 1-6
Second Reading: Romans 5: 5-11
Gospel Reading: Luke 15: 3-7
FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
This special feast set aside to honor the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is a tribute to the devotion to the Sacred Heart which illustrates Christ's love, divine and human for all his children symbolized in His Own physical Heart. It is also a symbol of His Divine Triune Love where Jesus shares with the Father, Holy Spirit and through the Son, with mankind, manifesting this love so that He became man, subjecting Himself to the weakness of man so that we could have life and have it more abundantly (cf. John 10:10) for Colossians 2: 9 sums it up, "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him Who is the Head of every Principality and Power you have received of that fullness." Devotion to His Sacred Heart can be traced to many mystics over the years beginning with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th Century then Saints Bonaventure and Gertrude in the 13th Century, followed by Saint Frances of Rome in the 15th Century and Saint Francis de Sales, Saint John Eudes and Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque in the 17th Century. It was the latter who received apparitions and locutions while in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament that gave the greatest impetus to this devotion and passed down the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart. This led to the establishment of the Nine First Friday devotion which promises final penitence to those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months.