When we speak of a person’s heart, we are primarily referring to their love for another or others. This is true with today’s Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In fact, there is probably the least amount of doubt possible, that is, complete certainty, when we speak of God’s love for us. Jesus gave His Life on the cross for us; what more could we ask of Him in order to know His love? This is the love of a shepherd for his sheep that Ezekiel speaks of in the First Reading. Let us take time today to reflect upon this image and ask God to reveal His love for us through it.
11 For thus says the LORD GOD: “I myself will look after and tend my sheep.” 12 As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. 13 I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel [in the land’s ravines and all its inhabited places]. 4 In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the LORD GOD. 16 The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.
P S A L M
Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
R: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; 3 he refreshes my soul. (R) He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage. (R) 5 You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (R) 6 Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. (R)
Paul knows the power of Jesus’ love for him because he has experienced it in his conversion to Christianity from Judaism; he has also experienced it in the forgiveness of his sins and in the gifts that God has given him to contribute towards the work of the Kingdom of God. The same should be true for each of us – maybe in different degrees –but nevertheless the same dynamic is at work in us all. The biggest difference results from the degree to which we surrender to or allow the grace of God to do its work in our lives. Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
5 The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 6 For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. 9 How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. 10 Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 Not only that, but we also boast of God through our LORD Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
G O S P E L
This is probably one of the simplest and most commonly known of the parables of Jesus. Let me just say that this does not mean that it holds any less meaning or significance for our lives. In fact, working on the biblical principle that simplest is best, it could be considered more important than the other parables because it gives more people access to the truth of God’s love for them. Let us never underestimate the power and simplicity of the message of the Gospel. Perhaps this is why it seems just as powerful today as it was 2000 years ago!
3 So to them Jesus addressed this parable. 4“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninetynine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? 5 And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy 6 and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”
think: Let us never underestimate the power and simplicity of the message of the Gospel.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Proverbs 13-16
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
Norbert of the late 11th century was born at Xanten in Germany. He was an ambitious man. He held various positions in the court of Emperor Henry V and thought only about his prestige. An incident made Norbert change his heart. While riding a horse, a flash of lightning scared the animal away. He fell on the ground and was left unconscious. When he awoke, the saint reflected on his life. Norbert entered the priesthood in 1115.
The priest worked hard to make people turn away from their evil ways. He set an example by selling all his properties, which profit he gave to the poor. He wanted to spread the Catholic faith, thus, he founded a congregation called the remonstratensians or the Norbertines.
Later in life, Norbert was chosen bishop of Magdeburg. The new bishop entered the city wearing very poor clothes and no shoes. The porter at the door did not recognize him and refused to let him in. When those who witnessed made him realize his mistake, the porter was apologetic. The bishop only replied, You judge me more correctly than those who brought me here.
Norbert fought heresy in the land. His defense of Jesus presence in the Blessed Eucharist inspired those to return to Christianity.
Norbert died in 1134 and was canonized in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
Saint Getulius of the late first century was the husband of Saint Symphorosa. Under the reign of Emperors Trajan and Adrian, the man served as a Roman officer. When he publicly converted in faith, Getulius resigned from his commission. He and his brother Saint Amantius returned to their country.
Emperor Adrian was furious. He sent the Roman guards Caerealis and Primitivus to arrest the brothers. But instead, Getulius and Amantius converted the guards. The emperor was more infuriated. He ordered the judge Licinius for the execution of the four. The judge, however, offered them a delay in the execution provided that they renounce their faith. All declined.
In c.120, Getulius and his companions were clubbed to death at Tivoli.