IN FESTO SACRATISSIMI CORDIS IESU - God's perfect love of man, and man's imperfect love of God

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PRESENTATION: The love of God poured out

It is just after 3 p.m. on Good Friday, Our Lord has just cried His last and given up His Spirit to the Father, and word has come from the Praetorium, Pilate wants the executions brought to a swift end to please the Jews. Longinus, one of the soldiers who had drawn the grisly duty that day goes up to Our Lord’s body to break His legs, but finds he has already died. One of his follow soldiers tosses him a spear, to make absolutely sure, and he plunges it into Our Lord’s side, it misses the rib cage, and the tip pierces Christ’s Most Sacred Heart, letting a stream of blood and water flow from the wound.
Christ has given His life for us, pouring out His lifesblood to the last drop. So consumed was He with love for mankind, that He held nothing back, and that is what we acknowledge today, the all-consuming love of God. The love of God gives and purifies, sacrifices and yields for the good of another -- again and again and again. God’s love is one that extends through, before, and beyond eternity and is ultimately expressed from Calvary to each and every person, fully, freely, and forever. In His Most Sacred Heart, we see how absolutely consumed with love God is for us — so much so that He was willing to bear those heinous wounds, false accusations and derisions, and even His death in order to grant salvation for all.
Historically, devotion to the Sacred Heart is believed to have grown from another devotion to Jesus’ body: the Sacred Wounds of Christ from His Passion. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said that the piercing of Christ’s side revealed His goodness and the charity of His heart for us: “How good and pleasant it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus! Who is there who does not love a Heart so wounded? Who can refuse a return of love to a Heart so loving?” Other religious and saints, such as Francis of Assisi, have themselves exemplified closeness to the love poured out by Christ’s Five Wounds and Sacred Heart.
The devotion as it is most commonly known today is said to have begun with the 1673 appearance of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. Over a series of visits, Our Lord revealed to St. Margaret Mary the importance of devotion to His Sacred Heart:
"Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love … But what I feel most keenly is that it is hearts which are consecrated to Me, that treat Me thus. Therefore, I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day, and making reparation to It by a solemn act, in order to make amends for the indignities which It has received during the time It has been exposed on the altars. I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honor It, and cause It to be honored."

IMPLICATION: Consoling the sorrowful heart of Christ

Sadly, as Our Lord related to St. Margaret Mary, His Most Sacred Heart continues to be pierced, not with the tip of a spear, but with sadness, intense sadness over those who, in the words of Pope Pius XI, respond to His love with negligence and contempt.
The prayer by Pope Pius XI, that we will pray after Mass today is a veritable catalogue of offences that are continuely heaped upon the Heart of Christ. Starting with the sins of faithful Christians, it also includes the sins of the unfaithful, and those who, though baptized, live practically as seculars, apostates, or pagans. The immodesty of dress, the failure to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, blasphemous speech, insults against priests and other consecrated persons, and worst of all, the desecration of the Holy Eucharist which ranges from those many Catholics who regularly receive Our Lord while in a state of mortal sin, to the profanation of the Sacred Host itself by vandals, or satanists, an act which is becoming all too common.
If we truly wish to honour the Most Sacred Heart of Christ, then we must seek to console Our Lord, who is daily bombarded with innumerable offences. There are many ways we can accomplish this, here I offer three suggestions:
First, consecrate our hearts, our homes, and our families to the Most Sacred Heart of Christ. Our prayer of consecration should be renewed frequently, as a reminder of this solemn duty to console the Heart of Christ.
Second, honour First Fridays as Our Lord requested by going to Confession, going to Mass, and receiving Holy Communion in reparation for our own sins and the sins of others.
Third, make frequent acts of reparation, particularly for the blasphemies uttered against Our Lord and His saints.
Today, Our Lord will once again renew His sacrifice our of love for us, and in return let us receive Him in Holy Communion worthily, consciously, and in reparation, to console Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart.
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