Read Ezekiel 34:11-16, Ps. 23, Romans 5:5-11, Luke 15:3-7
“There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)
As we know, the word “heart” can be used either literally or figuratively. In its literal sense, the heart refers to a physical organ in the body that is responsible for pumping and distributing blood across the body. Blood provides the body with oxygen and nutrients, and also assists in the removal of metabolic wastes. The function of the heart is so central and so important that it can be said to be the single most important organ in the human body. It is to a human being what an engine is to a vehicle.
Given the ultimate importance of the heart physically, the word ‘heart’ is often used figuratively to refer to the essence of a person; the inner being. From the language of scripture, we can decipher that there are different types of hearts. For instance, in Ezekiel 36:26 we read: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you, and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Of course, Jesus’ heart was not a heart of stone.
Today we celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We celebrate that which propelled Jesus to become man and save us like a shepherd who sacrifices everything to rescue a lost sheep leaving the ninety-nine behind (Luke 15:4). We celebrate that which moved Jesus to love us so much to the point of dying on the cross on our behalf not considering the fact that we did not even deserve it. As St. Paul says in our second reading today. “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The heart of Jesus is first sacred because it is the heart of God. It is also a typical shepherd’s heart, a heart so full of love and concern for the good of humanity who are His Sheep. From this heart, we hear God speaking through the prophet Ezekiel in today’s first reading: “I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered... And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land, and I will feed them on the mountains… I will feed them with good pasture, … they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on fat pasture, they shall feed” (Ezekiel 34:12-14). This is exactly what God desires for us His children.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus represents true love for us. In our devotion to the Sacred heart, our prayer is that God may make our hearts like the heart of Jesus.
Let us pray: Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on us, Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Solemnity. Bible Study: Ezekiel 34:11-16, Ps. 23, Romans 5:5-11, Luke 15:3-7)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu