Ezekiel 34.11-16; Ps 22; Romans 5.5-11; Luke 15.3-7
This solemnity is not about the anatomy or internal organs of our Lord, but rather about the way that the God who is love set his heart on his people. [Deuteronomy 7.7] Pope Pius XII wrote that the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, ‘is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings’without exception.
The most significant source of the devotion comes from the visions of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90), a nun of the Visitation order. Our Lord appearing to her asked for more frequent reception of Holy Communion, particularly on the first Friday of each month, and for an hour’s meditation every Thursday evening on his Agony in Gethsemane.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that ‘The prayer of the Church venerates and honours the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins.’