The prayers and readings of today’s Mass tell us of four things the Sacred Heart of Jesus is constantly doing. The Sacred Heart is eternally pulsing, breaking, redeeming us, and rejoicing. I want to say a word about each.
First, the Sacred Heart is eternally beating. God’s love does not take a break. It does not have a day off. Jesus’ heart is beating every second of every day for you and for me, and that heart is the love that holds the world and our church and our families and our lives together. God’s heart is like an endless pitcher of goodness and mercy, and all that goodness and mercy is constantly being poured into our lives. St Paul says in our second reading that the love of Christ is poured into us. David in the psalm says the same, and notes that we’re like cups….and all that goodness from God comes into us and overflows. All that flow comes from a the heartbeats of our God. There is that beautiful image of the blood of Christ coming into the chalice at Mass in a stream from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That is what I mean. The Sacred Heart is the source of all our life, all our blessings.
Second, the Sacred Heart is eternally breaking. The preface at our Mass today reminds us that it is the lance thrown into Jesus’ side that breaks Jesus’ heart, and from that wound comes forth our salvation. Isn’t that fascinating? We celebrate today the power of a heartbreak. Our collect at Mass said that his heart is wounded by our sins. We are part of that lance. But from that wound, from that broken heart of our savior, flows an unending stream of love. God’s heart breaks for us. This is a reminder for us, that our heartbreaks need not be in vain. My heart breaks for a lot of things. There are times I see a half-empty church on Sudnay and my heart breaks. There are sometimes moments of feelings down. There are times I wish for this or that. But all those heartbreaks, they can be the inspiration for something life-giving, something wonderful, something divine. There is value in a heartbreak.
Third, the Sacred Heart is eternally redeeming us. Our readings are about lost sheep and a shepherd who is good enough to care about them and bring them back. Ephesians tells us that we who were once far off have been brought need by the blood of Christ. That blood is from the sacred heart. We pray Jesus’ blood upon all the lost souls we know. We pray his blood be upon the souls in purgatory, the souls who do not believe, the souls who are suffering. That blood, flowing eternally from his heart, draws a lost humanity back to our homeland, heaven. It redeems us.
Fourth, the Sacred Heart is eternally rejoicing. I think some Christians get a little too gloom and doom. We’re being attacked, life is hard, persecution this and persecution that. Well guess what? our Gospel today tells us that the Lord rejoices when a lost soul comes back. And folks are coming back all the time. There is much to rejoice about, much to be happy about. And it’s a beautiful thing to consider that Jesus’ heart rejoices in us.
That’s it, folks. We thank God we have such a beautiful heart in our savior–a heart that is always beating, always breaking, always redeeming, always rejoicing. We have a good God. We pray our hearts will do those same things. And…we pray especailly today on this say of sanctification of priests, that our priests will be holy and zealous, and that their hearts will reflect beautifully the Sacred Heart of the King we all serve.