By the time you read this, this past Friday we had already celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus draws us into the mystery of the Eternal Word loving us and becoming Incarnate through the Blessed Virgin Mary. God the Son has assumed our human nature to save us. He did not absorb our human nature, but became man to unite us to God, the Holy Trinity, through the divine grace given to us by Jesus Christ through his Church and their seven sacraments. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the last part of paragraph #470, we read: The Son of God…worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin. (From the Vatican II document: Gaudium et Spes (Latin for “Our joy and hope”, 22 par. 2)) CCC #472 continues: This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge. As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited: it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why the Son of God could, when he became man, “increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man,” and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience. This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking “the form of a slave.” (Phil. 2:7)
This truth should give all of us great consolation, especially when we are sick or troubled, misunderstood or mischaracterized and feeling isolated by the historical events we are experiencing. Jesus Christ reminds us that he knows what this feels like, since he has experienced all the human emotions himself, but never sinned. Since he is the God-man, he is here for us in time and Eternity, to empathize, to encourage and to forgive us our sins when we truly repent by seeking his holiness, and then to feed us with his divine life of grace in the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist.
It is a deep joy and very meaningful to me to be able to hear confessions and feed you with Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, knowing that these acts of faith, hope and love are summed up in the Holy Eucharist, the pledge of Eternal Life where there will be no more sickness, conflict, misunderstanding, nor death.
But since I was sick with Covid-19 and had to quarantine this past weekend, it was emotionally very difficult for me to be isolated and to have to say a private Mass in my apartment on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (Latin for “Body of Christ”).
It was doubly sad for me since it was Father’s Day and I wanted to express my paternal care and concern for all of you as your spiritual father, and to bless all the fathers. I wanted to spend time with my aging father and my brothers who are all fathers. Instead, it was a day of entrusting myself to the will of God the Father, in Christ, trusting that the Holy Spirit would work even through these difficult emotions united to his cross – and his resurrection.
For truly your prayers and emails, texted messages and phone calls of encouragement revived my spirit. Thank you! Let us continue to offer all our works, joys, sufferings and hopes to God through the Sacred Heart of Christ for the building up of our Christian community and our civilization of love and truth.
CCC #478: Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony, and his Passion and gave him-self up for each one of us: “The Son of God… loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, 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.
Peace in the Risen Lord,
Fr. Thomas McCabe