One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

June 22, 2006

For the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ

John 19:31-37

We have the expression “a broken heart”.
That isn’t an expression we find in the Scriptures.
Nonetheless, we find that the meaning of “a broken heart” overlaps with the meaning of the Gospel we witness today.
The night before he was to offer himself on the cross, Jesus our Lord went through agony in the garden of Gethsemane.
He fell on the ground and prayed… “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death…. Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.” [Mk. 14]

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. [Lk. 22]

What brought this agony to the heart of Jesus?
It was his love for us that brought on this heartbreak.
He was and is God: Love in flesh and blood choosing to offer himself on behalf of us and our sins, for us men and for salvation.
Today’s solemn feast and the traditional symbol of the Sacred Heart of Jesus enliven for us the fact that God chose to suffer for love of us.
We should know, however, that the ability of Jesus both to suffer and to rejoice go infinitely beyond our own abilities and understanding.
Every corner of Jesus’ mind and heart was wide open.
Nothing in his spirit was blind, deaf, numb, paralyzed or compromised by sin and its effects.
Every fiber of his being— heart, soul, mind and strength— was alive and exposed, free and ready to offer its entire self in greeting, come bliss or agony.
This was true of him even before his actual death and resurrection.
He had the ability and the freedom to suffer and to rejoice beyond any degree we can imagine.
His was not merely innocent suffering, but suffering without any limit or border.
He brought and made present in his human suffering all the depths of the heart and mind of God.
He handed over and poured out all and everything for us.
However, this love from God in Christ Jesus is not merely retribution for sin, not merely atonement.
It is also birth and new life.
It is creation all over again, because it rises above the history of sin, and causes human flesh and blood, all of human nature itself to be recreated beyond death in the glory of God.
In this solemn feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we worship his love for us— his love beyond our ability and understanding.
With this solemn feast we honor the suffering with which he redeems us out of our sins— his suffering beyond our ability and understanding.
This feast calls us to repent of our own forgetfulness and ingratitude for his gift.
It calls us to do penance and offer intercession for the rest of humanity out of simple love, following the example and command of our Savior.
We are to be mindful that he chose to suffer for us.
We are to avoid sin.
We are to follow him in his gift of himself for the glory of the Father.

That God Be Glorified in All


Blogger Kevin said...

Thanks, Fr. Stephanos. I needed that sermon. God bless.

11:23 PM  

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