The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Immediately blood and water flowed out. (John 19:34)

On the biological level, the heart is an organ that pumps oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body, sustaining life and activity. On the spiritual level, Jesus’ Sacred Heart continuously pumps life into our souls, supplying us with all the grace we need to stay close to the Lord and walk in his ways.

That’s the “function” of Jesus’ heart. But there is so much more to this feast than a remembrance of what his heart does. In his 1956 encyclical, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XII wrote that the heart of Jesus is “the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceas­ingly loves his eternal Father and all mankind.” Today’s feast calls us to fix our eyes on Jesus’ passionate love—his love for God and, even more miraculously, his love for us.

So let’s take up this invitation today and gaze upon the cross, where Jesus’ heart was pierced for us (John 19:34). Look at the blood and water that flowed from his side. Reflect on all the ways he taught, loved, and healed people when he walked the earth. What would have caused him to do all of this? He could have remained in heaven, sur­rounded by the angelic praise, but he loved us too deeply. He freely chose to become like one of us, to carry our sins to the cross, so that he could put an end to our afflictions and show us a new way of life.

Even today, Jesus’ love burns just as passionately. He continues to reach out to us in our loneliness and helplessness. He befriends us when we feel we have no one on our side. He heals our wounded hearts. He cleanses us when our sins bring us shame and guilt. This is Jesus’ heart for humanity. This is Jesus’ heart for you. His heart is filled with delight when he sees you. His heart longs to bring you safely into heaven, so that you can be with him for all time. His heart beats wildly for you. So gaze upon the cross today, and let his love melt your heart.

“Jesus, immerse me in the love of your Sacred Heart.”

Hosea 11:1,3-4,8-9, (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6, Ephesians 3:8-12,14-19