Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.
~Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
The Sacred Heart is one of the most necessary and important devotions in the Western Church today. Jesus came to Saint Margaret Mary to give a crucial message to a world moving in the wrong direction.
At the time of St. Margaret Mary's visions, Jansenism was gaining ground. It taught that mankind had been radically corrupted by original sin and that Christ did not die for all, but only for those predestined to be saved. Holy Communion was seen as a reward for the good rather than a remedy for the spiritually sick and could only be received, according to the Jansenists, after a long and severe preparation. Jansenism was condemned by the Church in 1653. The message of Christ's deep love for all in His Sacred Heart was violently opposed in areas which were heavily Jansenist.
Love and Mercy
Jesus appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque on June 13, 1675 and told her, "See this heart, which has loved men so much, to the point of exhausting and consuming itself to show them its love." The Heart of Christ is shown aflame with love for each member of mankind.
Often seen today as a precursor of the Divine Mercy apparition, mercy is the central message of the Sacred Heart devotion. It is more important than ever today to remember, preach and show others that Jesus came to the earth to show His love and mercy to mankind.
A Failed Witness
We are SO quick today, to feast on malicious gossip, often regarding people we have never met in person. Rumors and scandals become an all-consuming fire in our souls and fodder for the latest in social media. Even in our churches, we often let this tempting addiction from the devil take hold. How many times recently has it not even occurred to us to be gentle, merciful and caring in our thoughts, actions and verbalizations, (both real and "virtual")?
Now, more than ever, we are a witness to others. Our thoughts and opinions are everywhere and will even continue on in cyber space and survive our mortal bodies! More and more people today are turning away from mainstream Christian faiths because they do not see Christianity being lived out by its adherents. Those who remain are often hounded and judged out of the Church by its well-meaning members. Do not let this be you!
Jesus reserved his greatest condemnation for the spiritual leaders who should have known better, but were heaping burdens on people's backs that they themselves were unwilling to carry. (Matthew 23:4) He told Martha that she worried about so many things when only one was necessary--sitting at His feet and feeding on His Words. (Luke 10:41)
He used the most hated group of his day, the Samaritans, (Jewish schismatics) to illustrate what true love is--love for strangers, love for those otherwise thought to be "unclean" and not worth going out of one's way to help. (Luke 10: 25-37) He openly spoke to a woman who had been married 5 times, was living with a man, and was a Samaritan. She would not have been given the time of day by most religious people, but Jesus revealed to her that He was the Messiah.
Christ was truly a radical in how He showed His Love.
He cared not one bit what was whispered about him--that he seemed to enjoy the company of others without regard for either their financial or spiritual poverty (the woman who washed His feet with her tears) or their standing in the community--either low or high . (Zacheus, Joseph of Arimathea) He preached that sacrificial love for humanity should come before all else--even religious rules. "The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27)
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
We beg you to pour out your Love onto us today and help us to be on fire with love for all your children, those who are easy for us to love and those who are not. With your help, we can rein in our baser nature and live as true children of your Father.