Friday, June 7, 2013

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

     On the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Devotion to the Sacred Heart also takes place on the First Friday of each month.  Today those two occasions overlap.   The setting for this feast is found in Psalm 33 where it says "The designs of his Heart are from age to age, to rescue their souls from death, and keep them alive in famine."

     The Preface for today states:

"For raised up high on the Cross,
he gave himself up for us with a wonderful love
and poured out blood and water from his pierced side,
the wellspring of the Church's Sacraments,
so that, won over to the open heart of the Savior,
all might draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation."
     Did you ever see a pelican used in Christian art?  I remember a pelican carved into the altar frontal piece at Saint Sebastian Church in Belle Vernon.  It was an interesting image.  Since the second century the pelican was seen as a image of Christ.  Tradition says that the mother pelican, in time of famine, will gather her young around her and then pierce her chest, drawing blood that then nourishes the young and brings them life and survival.  It is a powerful image of self sacrifice that mirrors what Jesus did for us.   May the Sacred Heart of Jesus, from which his nourishing blood flows in loving sacrifice, be ever near to us.

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