Today’s Gospel: John 19:31-37
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
There are so many beautiful connections to the Old Testament in today’s Gospel reading. We see over and over again how Jesus is the fulfillment of everything the Israelites anticipated in their Messiah. Just as Eve came to be through the side of her bridegroom Adam, the Church gains life through the life-giving water that flows from the Bridegroom Christ’s side. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was pierced for us so that it would release the waters of baptism and the blood of the Eucharist. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, an “unblemished lamb” without any broken bones, just as Exodus forbade the consumption of lambs with broken bones for the Passover celebration. Jesus, the Lamb of God, is perfectly fit for consumption in the Eucharist.
Today, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I remember back to my days at a high school that had a special devotion to the Most Sacred Heart. My geometry teacher always opened class with the prayer, “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.” To this day, it remains one of my favorite prayers in times of trouble—especially when I am struggling to find my own words.
I love how Mother Church gives us the liturgical calendar to help us pause, pray, and reflect on the many gifts God gives to us. God made us body and soul, and He knows we benefit from reflecting on the tangible gifts given to us through our Incarnate Lord. We have the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the solemnity of the most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. We have the beautiful seven sacraments, “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1131). The sacraments and the special days commemorating signs such as Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart point us to the eternal reality of heaven.
How can reflecting on Christ’s Most Sacred Heart help me to remember the tremendous dignity my own body has?
Loving Father, as we celebrate the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us remember to frequent the sacraments. Remind us through their visible signs that they are opportunities for us to receive the graces we need to access divine life. Thank you for your countless gifts, especially for Your Son and the gift of His Most Sacred Heart. Draw us ever closer to You through Him and Your Church. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Catherine Boucher