"I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal." Ez 34:14
More than anything else the feast of the Sacred Heart is an antidote, a response to the theology and spirituality of 16th and 17th century Calvinism and Jansenism that denigrated all creation and condemned most of the human family to eternal punishment. How movements like this emerge is never easy to understand, but they clearly need a strong response from the church rooted in scripture and the best of the Catholic tradition. The Feast of the Sacred Heart is the church's rejoinder.
Insisting that the heart of Jesus has no limits and wants all people to be saved, the liturgy invites us to reflect on the powerful image of God as a shepherd who yearns to find us when we are lost, help us when are hurt and heal us when we are sick. What more could we ask of God?
Although the feast of the Sacred Heart was slow to find full church approval, it was everyday people who drove it. So many believers, overwhelmed by a world that was fast becoming unbearably complex and oppressive, believers embraced the feast of the Sacred Heart which offered them hope no matter how difficult their lives might be. It can continue to offer this same consolation in the 21st century. Everyone wants to believe in a God that seeks them out and embraces them with his heart.
Today, open your heart to someone lost.
How do you understand God's love for you?