We call Jesus’ Heart the Most Sacred Heart. Why is it sacred? Because it is Jesus’ Heart. Why should we adore the Sacred Heart? Because it is Jesus’ Heart.
What is so special about the heart of Jesus so as to be elevated to the level of something to be adored? The reason is best explained in the last thing the Roman soldiers did before permitting the body of Jesus to be removed from the cross. ‘One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out’ ( Jn19:34). This incident is recorded by John only, because he was the sole disciple who stood with Jesus through his final hours.
It is then no wonder that sixteen centuries after John wrote about what he witnessed at Calvary, another person whose heart was so close to Jesus had a vision of the sacred heart of Jesus on 27th December, the feast day of St John the Evangelist. It was St Margaret Mary Alacoque. Like John she also experienced, though mystically, the feelings of a wounded heart that loved humanity so much. John had a personal experience of the heartbeats of his loving Master. The gospels introduce only one person as reclining next to Jesus and it was John. ‘One of his disciples – the one whom Jesus loved- was reclining next to him’ (Jn 13:23). John himself acknowledges in the gospel that the disciple whom Jesus loved was none other than the author.
So Sacred Heart is about love; the boundless and infinite love of Jesus towards us.The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a blessing given to those whom Jesus loves.
Two years after the first apparition, Margaret Mary Alacoque received another vision of the Sacred Heart in which Jesus told her; “Behold the Heart that has so loved men. … Instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part (of humankind) only ingratitude.”
June is the month dedicated to the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is in essence an act of reparation, because we have been giving ingratitude only to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus which he permitted to be pierced to prove that he loved us to the last drop of his blood. He wanted to tell us that his love goes beyond his death. ‘ Love never ends’ ( 1 Cori 13:8).
Margaret Mary Alacoque loved Jesus to the extent of signing a testament consecrating her life to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with her own blood. With the help of a pocket knife, she inscribed the name of her loving Savior on her breast and with this blood she signed the testament.
When the scars of the wound started fading, she replaced the knife with fire to recreate the image of the ‘name that is above every name’( Phil 2:9) again on her breast.
Let us also come closer to the loving heart of Jesus and inscribe his name in our hearts with a simple prayer:
‘O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I love You, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You.’