Reflection for Friday, July 1, 2011: Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Solemnity.

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Mahowald, Paul
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For several centuries we have celebrated the love of Jesus for mankind on this day, the second Friday after Pentecost. Pope John Paul II has added another similar feast day in our modern times when the second Sunday of Easter is now also celebrated as the "Day of Mercy." But this latter feast is lost in the excitement of the Easter season.||The feast of the Sacred Heart recalls the miraculous revelation of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the cloistered Visitation sisters in France. Her spiritual director was St. Claude la Columbiere, a Jesuit, who helped spread her message of the revelation of God's love as experienced in a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.|In her lifetime she saw the response of the faithful to her message revealed by the Sacred Heart. The most obvious is the reception of the Eucharist for nine consecutive Fridays. This occurred in an age when it was common practice to receive communion only a couple of times each year.|The revelation continues: "From this divine heart three streams flow endlessly. The first is the stream of mercy for sinners." [From the second reading of the feast of St. Margaret Mary.] ... The second is the stream of charity ... and from the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of his friends who have attained perfection."|This feast is one of love and commitment by Jesus to all of us. The prayer also reminds us of the reason Pope John Paul II instituted the feast of Divine Mercy. It introduces us to the Incarnation at the beginning of his life and the Redemptive death at the end of his life.|This final expression is from the Tridentine Mass's presentation of the gifts: O God, who has wonderfully created us and even more marvelously restored us through the death of Jesus, grant that by the mixing of this water and wine [a foretaste of the incarnation] we share in the divinity of Christ [a foretaste of heaven] .|*Because of a scheduling conflict, this last reflection written by Fr. Paul Mahowald before his death on July 16, 2010 was never shared with our readers. We would like to do so this year in tribute to his memory. Those of us who knew Fr. Paul were inspired by his passion for service, sometimes in the face of great struggles with his health. He was devoted to his C.L.C. community, to Mass and Confessions at St. John's, helping couples individually, to being a Daily Reflections writer and to serving in a number of ways in the Jesuit community.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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