Friday, 19 June 2020 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrating the love of God pouring forth out from His most loving Heart, as He has revealed to His servants, namely St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and earlier on through influences on mystic saints such as St. Gertrude the Great. Ultimately, the long development of the revelations led to the Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus as we are familiar with today.

The Lord appeared in visions to early visionaries such as St. Gertrude the Great, St. Lutgarde and St. Mechtilde, speaking of the love from His loving Heart for mankind, and calling on all to love Him more and to dedicate themselves to His loving Heart, which He dedicated to all peoples as a show of His love, the Heart filled with great love for each and every one of us, a Heart that is so loving and gentle towards us, as a symbol of His eternal and enduring love for us all.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque received the most significant series of visions of the Lord and His Most Sacred Heart, as He told the devout servant about the Devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, by the dedication of the first Fridays of every month to the reception of the Holy Eucharist and devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and then also Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hours dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Through these visions, gradually, the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus which had begun earlier in the past centuries rapidly gained popularity and adoption by many in the Church.

The Lord in His appearances to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque also showed His heart and the anguish and sorrow which He had for the sins and disobedience which we had shown to Him despite the vastness of love, compassion and mercy that He has lavished upon us. The Lord said that, “Behold the Heart that has loved so many men, and yet, instead of gratitude, all I received were ingratitude…” and asking in particular that the Friday after the week in which the Solemnity of Corpus Christi is celebrated be dedicated to Him as the Feast of Reparation to the Most Sacred Heart.

That is why today we celebrate this great Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, continuing a long standing tradition and practice of the Church celebrating the mystery of the Sacred Heart since the fourteenth century. And as the devotion spread rapidly, eventually, the Blessed Pope Pius IX extended and placed this great Feast and Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in its current form and honour. And the Lord also promised to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque that all those who devoted themselves to His Most Sacred Heart with faith will be protected and receive the graces of God.

Now then, as we dedicate ourselves anew to the Lord in His Most Sacred Heart today, let us all then spend some time to reflect on just how fortunate we have been to be beloved by God, and just how wonderful is His love for each and every one of us, keeping in mind what He Himself had said when He appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, that though He has loved us all so dearly, yet what He received was not gratitude, but rather immense ingratitude and lack of faith from so many of us.

This is what we all need to focus on today, and look through our lives, our actions in life thus far and see where we may have fallen short of what we ought to have done, that is to love the same God Who has loved us so much with the same love, with the same energy and enthusiasm, with the same strength and commitment. In our first reading today taken from the Book of Deuteronomy, all of us heard of the Covenant that God had established with His people after He brought them out by mighty deeds from the land of Egypt, and how He has cared for them and provided for them, as a people consecrated to Him in holiness.

And yet, those people who have been so blessed to be chosen by God did not appreciate or be grateful at how fortunate they had been to have been such blessed by God. Instead, they chose to disobey Him, committing all sorts of evil, even right from the moment when He had just established His Covenant with them, as they erected a golden calf and made it god over them in opposition to God. And there were many other occasions throughout the history of the Israelites that they had certainly brought the Lord to much sorrow, grief and anger at their disobedience and stubbornness.

And yet, the Lord still chose to love them and to give them opportunities, one after another, sending many prophets again and again to them to help them and to lead them to Himself, that they might repent from their sins and turn away from their disobedience. Last of all, as the fulfilment of what He has revealed through His prophets, He sent His very own Begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, to be the Saviour of all His people. How did He do that? By offering Himself as the perfect sacrificial offering on the Cross, that by sharing in His own shed Body and outpoured Blood, all of us who shared in Him, we have the promise of everlasting life with us.

That is why we celebrate this great Solemnity just within the week after the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord, as instructed by the Lord Himself, clearly as an important reminder that we have the loving Heart of our Lord, filled with His love that is so great and wonderful, so great a love that He has willingly offered Himself and sacrificed His own life, Body and shed His own Blood, suffering the most bitter of sufferings and persecutions for our sake.

It was for the great love of God that we have been blessed to know this love through Christ, as highlighted by St. John in his Epistle which is our second reading today. God has manifested His love for us through His Son, and by His actions and most loving and perfectly selfless sacrifice, He has showed us that He is Love Himself, and that all of us who are His people and adopted children, must also therefore be filled with the same love. We are all called to look at the Lord and remember His love, and be loving just as He has loved us.

Are we capable of doing that, brothers and sisters in Christ? Certainly we are capable of showing love just as the Lord has shown His love towards us. In each and every one of us, God has shown the potential to love, and sown the seeds of love within us, by the Holy Spirit Whom all of us have received through baptism, and which has been strengthened through the Sacrament of Confirmation. All of us are creatures of love, and the question is not whether we are capable of showing love, but rather if we want to show this love, to God and to our fellow brethren.

Today we also mark the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life, keeping in mind all those who have been called to model themselves after the Lord’s examples, especially His love for each and every one of us. To those who have given themselves to the ministry of the ordained priesthood, we pray for them all, that they truly may model themselves and their own hearts after that of the Lord’s own Most Sacred Heart, filled with love for all mankind.

We need to recognise that to be priests is a very difficult undertaking for those who have chosen to answer the Lord’s call and dedicate their lives. They are also humans just like us, with their flaws and imperfections, but they are at the same time held up to a much higher expectation and standard, being those who have been entrusted with the care and guardianship over the people of God. But then they also faced a lot of difficulties and challenges, as well as daily temptations and pressures from various origins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why all of us need to support our priests and all those who have dedicated themselves to this holy and sacred calling in life. And we can do that by living with faith ourselves and devoting ourselves to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, showing the same love that He has shown us, in our actions and interactions with one another. Let us all model ourselves after the Lord’s heart, that our own heart be filled with love, and love graciously and tenderly as the Lord Himself has shown us.

May the Lord continue to be our guide, strengthen us in faith and love us all the time, that we may draw ever closer to the love of God made evident to us through His Most Sacred Heart. O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we entrust ourselves to You, and we beseech You to show Your ever enduring love and compassion, mercifully forgiving us our sins and reconciling us to Yourself, that we may indeed have our rest in You, we who are weary and heavily burdened, that through You, we may truly be free. Amen.

Friday, 19 June 2020 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 11 : 25-30

On that occasion, Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise You; because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this was Your gracious will.”

“Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For My yoke is easy; and My burden is light.”

Friday, 19 June 2020 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves, is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is Love. How did the love of God appear among us? God sent His only Son into this world, that we might have life, through Him.

This is love : not that we loved God, but that, He first loved us and sent His Son, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen, and declare, that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them, and they in God.

We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is Love. The one who lives in love, and God in him.

Friday, 19 June 2020 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 102 : 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8 and 10

Praise YHVH, my soul; all my being, praise His holy Name! Praise YHVH, my soul, and do not forget all His kindness.

He forgives all your sins and heals all your sickness; He redeems your life from destruction and crowns you with love and compassion.

YHVH restores justice and secures the rights of the oppressed. He has made known His ways to Moses; and His deeds, to the people of Israel.

YHVH is gracious and merciful, abounding in love and slow to anger; He does not treat us according to our sins, nor does He punish us as we deserve.

Friday, 19 June 2020 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Deuteronomy 7 : 6-11

You are a people consecrated to YHVH, your God. YHVH has chosen you from among all the peoples on the face of the earth, that you may be His own people. YHVH has bound Himself to you and has chosen you, not because you are the most numerous among all the peoples (on the contrary, you are the least). Rather, He has chosen you because of His love for you and to fulfil the oath He made to your fathers.

Therefore, with a firm hand YHVH brought you out from slavery in Egypt, from the power of Pharaoh. So know that YHVH, your God, is the true and faithful God. He keeps His covenant, and His love reaches to the thousandth generation for those who love Him and fulfil His commandments, but He punishes in their own persons those who hate Him and He repays them without delay.

So keep the commandments, the norms and the laws that today I command you to practice.

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 19 June 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Psalm 68 : 21

Improperium exspectavi Cor Meum et miseriam : et sustinui, qui simul mecum contristaretur, et non fuit : consolantem Me quaesivi, et non inveni.

 

English translation

My heart had expected reproach and misery, and I looked for one who would grieve together with Me and there was none, and I sought one who would console Me and I found none.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Respice, quaesumus, Domine, ad ineffabilem Cordis dilecti Filii Tui caritatem : ut quod offerimus sit Tibi munus acceptum et nostrorum expiato delictorum. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

O Lord, we beseech You, look upon the inconceivable love of the Heart of Your dear Son, so that our offering may be to You an acceptable gift, to us the expiation of sin. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Preface of the Most Sacred Heart

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Qui Unigenitum Tuum, in Cruce pendentem, lancea militis transfigi voluisti : ut apertum Cor, divinae largitatis sacrarium, torrentes nobis funderet miserationis et gratiae : et, quod amore nostri flagrare numquam destitit, piis esset requies et paenitentibus pateret salutis refugium. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus hymnum gloriae Tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes :

 

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto You, o holy Lord, Father Almighty, everlasting God. You who have willed that Your only Begotten Son hanging on the cross should be transfixed with a soldier’s lance, so that the opened Heart, treasure place of divine bounty, might flood us with the torrents of compassion and grace, and that which never ceased to burn with love for us, should be the repose for the devout and to the penitent should open the shelter of salvation. And therefore with the angels and archangels, with the thrones and array of the heavenly host, we unceasingly repeat :

 

Communion

John 19 : 34

Unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua.

 

English translation

One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Praebeant nobis, Domine Jesu, divinum Tua sancta fervorem : quo dulcissimi Cordis Tui suavitate percepta; discamus terrena despicere, et amare caelestia : Qui vivis et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

May Your holy mysteries, o Lord Jesus, give us holy fervour, that by it perceiving the sweetness of Your most loving Heart, we may learn to despise earthly things and to love those of heaven. You who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 19 June 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 19 : 11-37

In illo tempore : Judaei (quoniam Parasceve erat), ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum, ut frangerentur eorum crura, et tollerentur. Venerunt ergo milites : et primi quidem fregerunt crura et alterius, qui crucifixus est cum eo.

Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura, sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua. Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit : et verum est testimonium ejus.

Et ille scit quia vera dicit, ut et vos credatis. Facta sunt enim haec ut Scriptura impleretur : Os non comminuetis ex eo. Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit : Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.

 

English translation

At that time, the Jews (because it was the Eve of the Passover) so that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day (for that was a great Sabbath day) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with Him.

But after they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who saw it had given testimony, and his testimony is true.

And he knows that he said the truth, that you may also believe. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled, ‘You shall not break a bone of His.’ And again another Scripture said, ‘They shall look on Him whom they pierced.’

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 19 June 2020 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 24 : 8-9 and Matthew 11 : 29

Dulcis et rectus Dominus : propter hoc legem dabit delinquetibus in via.

Response : Diriget mansuetos in judicio, docebit mites vias suas.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Tollite jugum meum super vos, et discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis Corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris. Alleluja.

 

English translation

The Lord is sweet and righteous, therefore He will give a law to sinners in the way.

Response : He will guide the mild in judgment. He will teach the meek His ways.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Take up My yoke upon you and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 19 June 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Ephesios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians

Ephesians 3 : 8-12, 14-19

Fratres : Mihi, omnium sanctorum minimo, data est gratia haec, in gentibus evangelizare investigabiles divitias Christi, et illuminare omnes, quae sit dispensatio sacramenti absconditi a saeculis in Deo, qui omnia creavit : ut innotescat principatibus et potestatibus in caelestibus per Ecclesiam multiformis sapientia Dei, secundum praefinitionem saeculorum, quam fecit in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro, in quo habemus fiduciam et accessum in confidentia per fidem ejus.

Hujus rei gratia flecto genua mea ad Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ex quo omnis paternitas in caelis ei in terra nominatur, ut det vobis, secundum divitias gloriae suae, virtute corroborari per Spiritum ejus in interiorem hominem, Christum habitare per fidem in cordibus vestris : in caritate radicati et fundati, ut possitis comprehendere cum omnibus sanctis, quae sit latitudo, et longitudo, et sublimitas, et profundum : scire etiam supereminentem scientiae caritatem Christi, ut impleamini in omnem plenitudinem Dei.

 

English translation

Brethren, to me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which had been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things, that the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places through the Church, according to the eternal purpose, which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.

For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit with might unto the inward man, that Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts, that being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height and depth, to know also the charity of Christ, which surpasses all understanding, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 19 June 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Psalm 32 : 11, 19

Cogitationes Cordis Ejus in generatione et generationem : ut eruat a morte animas eorum et alat eos in fame.

Exsultate, justi, in Domino : rectos decet collaudatio.

Response: Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

The thoughts of His heart to all generations : to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine.

Rejoice in the Lord, o all of you who are just, praise becoming of the upright.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Collect

Deus, qui nobis in Corde Filii Tui, nostri vulnerato peccatis, infinitos dilectionis thesauros misericorditer largiri dignaris : concede, quaesumus; ut, illi devotum pietatis nostrae praestantes obsequium, dignae quoque satisfactionis exhibeamus officium. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

O God, Who in the Heart of Your Son, wounded by our sins, had designed mercifully to bestow infinite treasures of love upon us; grant, we beseech You, that as we offer Him the faithful service of our devotion, we may also make worthy reparation. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.