HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS (1)

HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

THEME: CHRIST’S OPEN SIDE!

BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)

HOMILY FOR FRIDAY JUNE 24 2022

*Ezek 34: 11 – 16, Rom 5: 5 – 11, Lk 15: 3 – 7.

“The heart, not the head”, says Plummer “is the seat of the gospel”. What Pope Francis, in one of his exhortation l







HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

THEME: CHRIST’S OPEN SIDE!

BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)

HOMILY FOR FRIDAY JUNE 24 2022

 

 

*Ezek 34: 11 – 16, Rom 5: 5 – 11, Lk 15: 3 – 7.

“The heart, not the head”, says Plummer “is the seat of the gospel”. What Pope Francis, in one of his exhortation letters ‘Gaudate et exsultate’ – a call to Holiness calls the 2 subtle enemies of holiness; Gnosticism and Pelagianism are 2 heresies that stem from approaching holiness through the head alone. Gnosticism presumes that through certain understanding of ideas and doctrines you automatically attain holiness while Pelagianism presumes that the human will and personal effort is all that matters for holiness. But Pope Francis draws our attention back to Divine mercy and grace as the foundation of all human efforts in holiness. He sees the Church more as a field hospital for the sick rather than a toll gate for healthy travelers. I think this prefaces well my reflection on this year’s feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Holiness begins not from our search for God but from God’s search for us as evidenced in today’s gospel periscope about the parable of the lost sheep.

God’s love has been poured out about 2000 years ago from the wounded heart of Jesus from whence came water and blood, Jn 19: 34. By his wounds we are healed/ made whole / made holy, 1 Pet 2: 24. This wound in his heart was the wound of Divine love, 2 Cor 5: 14. The symbolism of blood, water and the Spirit became the 3 major signs of salvation; Blood symbolizes life and sacrifice which tantamount to Redemption; Water symbolizes life and purification which tantamount to Repentance; the Spirit symbolizes again life and sanctification which tantamount to Regeneration/ New life in Christ, 1 Jn 5: 5 – 8.

What Jesus essentially wants us to learn from his heart is gentleness and meekness, Matt 11: 29 – 30. The spirituality of reparation is advanced level spirituality – when a believer is wont on atoning for the conversion of others. To mourn for one’s sins and that of the whole world is prayer par excellence, Zech 12: 10 – 11. This is the spirituality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Apostleship of Prayer) and the Divine Mercy group. Searching for sinners as Christ advocates in today’s gospel is advanced level spirituality; knowing that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over them than over the rest of us who have been saved already by his grace, Lk 15: 3 – 7. Love for Jesus must be real not mechanical. This sincere love must guide our devotion not the quest for solution to our problems or the idolation of one man of God or the other. Mercy must lead the Church rather than punishment. It is not difficult for the Church to degenerate into some kind of ‘excommunication machine’ whose preoccupation becomes the ‘anatemization’ of sinners. Those Churches/ parishes that behave as if they are already saturated and overpopulated with Saints should better watch it.

May God bless you today!

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