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Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart Celebration

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21st Annual Charity Golf Tournament for Our Lady's Inn

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SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS | Jesus’ heart reaches out to others through us

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne exemplified the love of the Sacred Heart, with her whole life an outpouring of His love for others

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This week, we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 16). That’s a fitting place to focus our attention, since St. Rose Philippine Duchesne — a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus — is one of the patron saints of the archdiocese.

I want to call our attention to two key dimensions of devotion to the Sacred Heart: the Sacred Heart as the object of our love and the Sacred Heart as the subject of our love.

Understanding the Sacred Heart as the object of our love is pretty straightforward: Jesus is the one whom we love. In that sense, genuine devotion to the Sacred Heart means loving Jesus with our whole heart. It’s easy to understand but hard to do!

Understanding the Sacred Heart as the subject of our love requires a little more thought. It means that Jesus’ heart reaches out to others through us. In that sense, genuine devotion to the Sacred Heart is closely tied to evangelization.

Let me say a further word about each of these dimensions.

This week, we start reading from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–8:1), which can shed light on the Sacred Heart as the object of our love.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus brought the dimension of the heart to the forefront of the law. He insisted: God doesn’t only want righteous actions, God also wants a purified heart! If you think about it, that’s how the human heart works. No one is satisfied with an extravagant gift if it’s merely an external show, but the simplest gift means the world if a person’s heart is in it. That’s a crucial dimension of human relations and also a crucial element of devotion to the Sacred Heart.

The other dimension is highlighted by these words of Jesus: “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). This is echoed by the First Letter of John: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another” (1 John 4: 11). It’s also echoed by St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians: “The love of Christ impels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14).

This, too, is a deeply human truth: When we know ourselves to be loved, then the whole world is transformed for us, and we naturally share love with others. That human truth can shed light on the other dimension of devotion to the Sacred Heart. As we open our hearts to Jesus, and He gives us a share in His Sacred Heart, we begin to experience in ourselves His love for the world. We’re called not only to receive His love for us but to go out and give His love to others.

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne was a great example of both of these dimensions of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Christ was the object of her love: She was devoted to Him with all her heart. But Christ was also the subject of her love: He loved people through her, and she willingly made her whole life an outpouring of His love for others.

May our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus follow in her footsteps. Sacred Heart of Jesus, make our hearts like unto thine! St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us!

From the Archive Module

SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS Jesus heart reaches out to others through us 8704

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