“God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
he has given us.” (Ro 5, 5b)
For the Solemnity of our congregational Feast of the Sacred Hearts of JESUS & Mary we would like to share some thoughts with you.
What is this feast about? What are we celebrating anew every year? Why did Mother M. Clara Pfänder call us Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of JESUS & MARY? What was she hoping we would be and do as daughters and sons of the Sacred Hearts? This is not just a title for us. It has a deeper meaning. And its meaning is something that we can reflect on over and over again to see what it reveals to us in the here and now.
In our founding constitutions Mother M. Clara writes: "The Heart of JESUS is the Sun of Divine Grace and Love which enlightens us; the central focus and the rest for our souls; the school and glorious example of all virtues wherein we learn the boundless knowledge and love of God, the treasury of all mercies, which are poured out; the paradise of our souls and our eternal ward and happiness." (FC 53)
So often in our restless and noisy world we crave for a resting point for our souls. By contemplating on Jesus’ life, we can learn from him how to love all people and we can find rest during our ministries. In this resting place we can learn the balance of action and contemplation. We can look to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and see his devotion to his father. We can, in turn, strengthen our devotion to our Lord so that we can find our fulfilment, which M. Clara described as our eternal ward and happiness.
There we experience God's love as surprising and great, and at the same time as tender and caring. This is expressed so wonderfully in today’s scripture…the parable of the lost sheep. We see the joy of the shepherd when he finds his lost sheep and wants to share his joy with others.
In Ezekiel it is said: "Look! I myself will search for my sheep and when I find them I will give them rest.” The prophet then unfolds how much God loves and cares for His people (meaning us). He will give us rest in rich meadows. When we stray, He will seek us out and lead us back to where we need to be; when we are injured, He will bind up our wounds; and when we are sick He will heal us. We are welcome to come to the Lord in every situation of our life and pour out all our cares, concerns and sorrows before Him knowing that He will respond to us.
On December 8, Pope Francis proclaimed the Year of Mercy and reminded us to bring the unconditional love of God to every person and to creation. You and I are to bring this love and mercy to others.
We can do this because we believe in the words St. Paul spoke to the Romans: that the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The heart of God is opened up for us in Jesus Christ and this love has been poured into our hearts, so that we can share this love with one another and with all of creation.
We are invited by Christ to make the love of God visible in our world through our interactions with the people and situations we encounter. These interactions are most often very ordinary actions that are a part of our daily life and ministry. Everything we do with a heartfelt love can be an image and expression of God's love in the world. We also make the love of Christ visible as we pray for the people around us and for the tragedies we see around the world. We do what we can. “Acknowledging our gifts and limitations, we reach out anew to those around us and those in need” as we are urged to do in 2015 General Chapter Statement.
May we continue to deepen the knowledge of the Divine Love that is so close to us through Jesus Christ for our own lives as for all creation.
Let us pray with Mother M. Clara: "Divine Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, build our hearts like your heart."