Friday, 24 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, marking the great and boundless love that the Lord has for each and every one of us, freely being poured out from His most loving Sacred Heart, as we recall all that He had done for our sake. On this day, as we commemorate this great celebration, we remember the Lord Whose Sacred Heart had been pierced and torn for us, and Who despite of our many wickedness and iniquities, still continued to patiently reach out to us, because His love for us, coming from His ever loving and generous Heart, is never-ending.

In the Church, the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is among the most popular devotions, and while the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was only relatively recently spread to the whole Church and the world about a hundred and seventy years ago by Blessed Pope Pius IX, but the history of the devotion and the celebration of the most generous love and compassionate care of God in His Sacred Heart had extended much earlier than that, as early as seven centuries ago with the institution of the Mass honouring the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pope Innocent VI during the late Middle Ages.

This devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is and has always been very popular and sought after by the faithful, precisely because it reminds us of the ever loving and compassionate nature of God, our Lord and Saviour. Although we are sinners, but the Lord still loves us all regardless, and His love and mercy are even greater than the combined weight and burden of our sins. We must take note though that sin is still hated and despised by the Lord, and we have to answer for our sins, but we are reminded that God willingly offered us His forgiveness and grace, as long as we are willing to embrace them.

The Lord loves each and every one of us much as how a shepherd loves his sheep and flock, an allusion that is permeating all over our Scripture readings today. From the Book of the prophet Ezekiel in our first reading today, the Lord spoke of Himself as the Shepherd of all the faithful, Who would guide all of His flock to Himself, caring for them and providing for all their needs, among other things. And then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Himself referring to the action of the shepherd who went out to look for the lost sheep, in the parable He used to teach them, and finally how St. Paul in our second reading today, highlighting the action that Christ our Lord had done for our sake, out of His love for us.

In our first reading, the prophet Ezekiel delivered the words of God to His people, who at that time had been exiled and brought far away from their homeland, in the final days of the kingdom of Judah, when their country were battered and eventually destroyed by the forces of the Babylonians, their cities torched and destroyed, the city of Jerusalem and its Temple torn down and crushed, and eventually most of the people of God carried off into exile in Babylon and other regions, and the people were scattered all over the world, lost and no longer had their homeland with them. But God showed pity and mercy on them, and He called them to come back to Him.

God reminded them through Ezekiel, that He did not abandon them or forget about them, even though they had rejected Him, abandoned Him, betrayed Him and left Him behind for the company of pagan gods and idols. He still stood by the Covenant He had made with them and their ancestors, still providing for them and caring for them regardless, and sent many messengers and prophets, guides and helpers to remind them along the way, all the time. Yet, the people often hardened their hearts and and became stubborn, in refusing God’s generous offer of love and mercy.

He sent His salvation henceforth into this world, just as He had promised, in none other than Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, the Divine Word of God incarnate, born of the Virgin Mary, His mother, as the manifestation of God’s love made flesh, becoming apparent and tangible for us. Not only that, but His actions, and all that He did for our sake, in the end, all of those brought the love of God into our midst, and we are all sharing in the generous love that God has poured out upon us, which became the source of our light, hope and salvation amidst the darkness of the world. The Lord had shown us His love, just as St. Paul presented it to us in our second reading today.

St. Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Church in Rome spoke of the manifestation of God’s love for us sinners, through none other than the Passion, the suffering and death of Our Lord Himself on the Cross. St. Paul spoke of how difficult it was for someone to offer to suffer and die for the sake of another, although for a truly righteous and good person, one could probably do so. However, the Lord suffered and died for us when we were still sinners and are still resisting and rejecting Him, and He laid Himself bare before us, showing us and exposing to us just how much He loved us that even though we are still sinners, but He willingly reached out to us in love, for our sake, even suffering the burdens of our sins, for our salvation.

That was what He had done as our most loving Good Shepherd, fulfilling what He Himself said in our Gospel passage today in the parable of the lost sheep. He is the Good Shepherd Who knows every single one of His sheep by name, knowing them all perfectly, each and every one of us. He embodies what He Himself said with the words, ‘The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep’ and ‘There is no greater love than this, for one to lay down his life for his friend’. We are all precious to the Lord, His beloved ones, His precious children, His friends and brothers and sisters. We are all His flock, His sheep, whom He knew and love tenderly.

There is truly nothing that can separate us from the love of God, save that of our own stubbornness and refusal to embrace His love. And if we still doubt that love which God has for us, then let us look upon His Most Sacred Heart, brothers and sisters in Christ, and we can see just how wounded and painful His Heart has been, by the many transgressions and sins we have committed, and yet, by that same Heart, by that same love He has always had for us, He constantly gives us the chances and opportunities to embrace His love and mercy, and to return once again to His Presence.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, knowing how much God loves us and how generous He has always been in reaching out to us and in trying to be reconciled with us, let us all therefore turn towards Him, and let us seek once again His loving Heart, ever filled with love for us. Let us all not be stubborn any longer, but allow Him to touch our hearts and minds, and respond positively and courageously to His call, in asking us to embrace and enter into His loving care and compassionate mercy. Let us all turn towards Our Lord and His Most Sacred Heart with renewed love, faith and conviction to live our lives from now on with true commitment to Him.

May the Lord continue to love us as always, and may His Most Sacred Heart continue to shower us with that love and kindness, and that each and every one of us may come ever closer to His Presence. O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we trust in You! O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, be with us always, we who are sinners and are always in need of Your love and mercy. Amen.

Friday, 24 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 15 : 3-7

At that time, Jesus told the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law this parable : “Who among you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and seek the lost one till he finds it? And finding it, will he not joyfully carry it home on his shoulders? Then he will call his friends and neighbours together, and say, ‘Celebrate with me, for I have found my lost sheep!’”

“I tell you, in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner, than over ninety-nine decent people, who do not need to repent.”

Friday, 24 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Romans 5 : 5b-11

Because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God. Consider, moreover, the time that Christ died for us : when we were still helpless and unable to do anything. Few would accept to die for an upright person; although, for a very good person, perhaps someone would dare to die.

But see how God manifested His love for us : while we were still sinners, Christ died for us; and we have become just, through His Blood. With much more reason now He will save us from any condemnation. Once enemies, we have been reconciled with God through the death of His Son; with much more reason, now we may be saved, through His life. Not only that, but we even boast in God because of Christ Jesus, Our Lord, through Whom we have been reconciled.

Friday, 24 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 22 : 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.

He guides me through the right paths for His Name’s sake. Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are beside me : Your rod and Your staff comfort me.

You spread a table before me in the presence of my foes. You anoint my head with oil; my cup is overflowing.

Goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life. I shall dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.

Friday, 24 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ezekiel 34 : 11-16

Indeed YHVH says this : I, Myself, will care for My sheep and watch over them. As the shepherd looks after his flock when he finds them scattered, so will I watch over My sheep; and gather them from all the places where they were scattered in a time of cloud and fog. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from their countries. I will lead them to their own land; and pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in all the valleys and inhabited regions of the land.

I will take them to good pastures on the high mountains of Israel. They will rest where the grazing is good, and feed in lush pastures on the heights of Israel. I, Myself, will tend My sheep and let them rest, word of YHVH. I will search for the lost and lead back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak; but the fat and strong will be eliminated. I will shepherd My flock with justice.

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 24 June 2022 : 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, 24 June 2022 : 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, 24 June 2022 : 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, 24 June 2022 : 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, 24 June 2022 : 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.