The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his … treasured possession.

Deuteronomy 7:6

Friday, 19 June 2020

First Reading Deuteronomy 7:6–11; Matthew 11:25–30

Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where we contemplate the love of God, and we are asked to pray with and for that love.  In the Gospel of Matthew we read that “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” And today we read that “since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.” As we learn to love, let us treasure God’s first love of us.


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once wrote that: “in the Heart of Jesus, the center of Christianity is set before us. This heart calls to our heart. It invites us to step forth out of the futile attempt of self-preservation and, by joining in the task of love, by handing ourselves over to him and with him, to discover the fullness of love which alone is eternity and which alone sustains the world.” (Behold the Pierced One, Ignatius Press, 1986, p.69.)


In this time of COVID-19 we are called to love beyond ourselves. The Sacred Heart devotion is meant to transform us through conversation with God, to empower us to become a new creation in the Mystical Body of Christ. Our ultimate goal is to be drawn into Christ’s redemptive work for the world. Through uniting ourselves to the Heart of Christ, we enter into Christ’s prayer for the world. Consequently, by being one with the Heart of Christ, we are transformed and become the place of intercession for others. Entering into the Heart of Jesus and His prayer for the world ought to encompass the whole experience of our lives.


We are able to see the form of Christ in the devotion to the Sacred Heart only when we know ourselves to be loved by Christ and decide to respond with love.


You deserve all honour and praise, because your love is perfect and your heart sublime. My heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the many blessings and graces you have bestowed upon me and those whom I love. Forever undeserving, may I always be attentive and never take for granted the gifts of mercy and love that flow so freely and generously from your Sacred Heart. Heart of Jesus, I adore you. Heart of Jesus, I praise you. Heart of Jesus, I thank you. Heart of Jesus, I love you


Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ entered the Society of Jesus in 2005 and underwent the usual course of studies in his formation, which took him to such varied places as Canada, France, Ireland, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Whilst working at the Institute, Matthew managed the background technical aspects of much of the Institute's work and was involved in the Spirituality work, completing the Advanced Spiritual Directors Training Course and the Spiritual Exercises Training run by the Institute. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and was also a part-time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Augustine College of South Africa. He is currently the Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Southern Africa, based in Lusaka, Zambia. @mcharlesworth
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