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Homily of Bishop William Crean – Solemnity of the Sacred Heart – Cobh – 7th June 2024

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

Cobh

7th June 2024

 

“I place all my trust in You”

 

My friends,

 

Our relationship with the Lord has many manifestations so often inspired by a spiritual teacher who through the depth of their own experience, their exceptional capacity for reflection or their insight into understanding their own inner experience fashion a fresh spiritual pathway for devotion and prayer.  Such has been the history of spirituality in the Church across the centuries.  While there is but one Lord and Saviour there are many pathways that have been laid down to show us the way and ease our journey.  St. Benedict, St.  Francis, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Theresa of Avila women and men of outstanding virtue, intelligence and love have each in their time signposted a path inspired by the Spirit that spoke to the hearts of disciples.

 

St. Margaret Mary, St. Gertrude, St. John Eudes, Mother Marie Adele Garnier, Foundress and others fashioned a new spiritual movement through their turning to Jesus in his human nature, especially through reference to the heart as the seat of emotion and feelings.

 

Just yesterday (June 6th 2024) the Holy Father, Pope Francis announced that he intended publishing a document on the Sacred Heart of Jesus in September in which he will draw together the great riches of the devotion in the life of Church over the centuries – and he will do so for a world “that has lost its heart”.

 

He said he is preparing “a document that gathers the previous reflections of previous magisterial texts and a long history dating back to the Holy Scripture, to reintroduce to-day, to the whole Church, this devotion full of spiritual beauty”.

 

“I believe it will be very beneficial for us to meditate on the various aspects of the Lord’s love that can illuminate the path of ecclesial renewal:  but also to say something significant to a world that seems to have lost its heart”.

 

Thankfully we can gather to celebrate these great blessings for our lives at this time.  We know, in the words of the Responsorial Psalm that, “With joy we draw water continually from the wells of salvation”.  The love of Jesus for humanity is most powerfully displayed in his sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary.  The drama of his total self-giving is drawn to a close with the piercing of his heart with a lance as a result of which blood and water drained from his body.

 

In the prayer and reflection of the Church this physical outpouring of blood and water from the side of Christ would serve as a rich symbol of the life-giving graces that come into our lives through our faith filled participation in the sacramental life of the Church.  The heart of Christ Jesus is a human heart with all the best qualities of a heart full of love – but to a divine degree.  That’s why its inexhaustible and infinite.

 

In our devotion to the Sacred Heart, we pray for ourselves for a heart and mind of warmth,

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