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Friday, June 6, 1997

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Sacred Heart of Jesus

Hosea 11:1, 3-4, 8-9
Isaiah 12
Ephesians 3:8-12, 14-19
John 19:31-37

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the look of love

"They shall look on Him Whom they have pierced." —John 19:37

"God is Love" (1 Jn 4:16). This is the most fundamental revelation from God. "We, for our part, love because He first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). First of all, we must know that God loves us.

However, we have great difficulty believing in God's love for us. Although He draws us "with human cords, with bands of love," and although He stoops to feed and heal us (see Hos 11:4), we may not believe He loves us. Even when God became a human being and proved His love by dying on the cross for us (Rm 5:8), we denied, ignored, and questioned His love.

The Lord has sent apostles, prophets, preachers, and teachers to proclaim His love (see Eph 4:11). These proclamations have been like a two-edged sword, which penetrated, divided, and judged the thoughts and reflections of our hearts (Heb 4:12). In this way, many people have come to believe in God's love for them and to begin to live a new life of love.

Probably the most effective proclamation of God's love for each one of us is the prophetic vision of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Look at a picture of the Sacred Heart. "Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may attain to the fullness of God Himself" (Eph 3:18-19). Look daily at a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, on this world day of prayer for the sanctification of priests, let priests know, give, and preach Your love as never before.

Promise:  "My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred." —Hos 11:8

Praise:  Jesus, in revealing His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary, promised: "Sinners shall find in My heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy." Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996