Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 2014 Dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

                                       A Share in his riches

Introduction : "June is the Month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus".

When Jesus Christ invited the crowds, "Come to me all you who labor and are overburdened and I will give you rest .... for I am gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:28) he made no idle promise. That heart is still as humble and gentle now as then with an inexhaustible capacity to understand our suffering and pain and help us bear our load.

Touching his Heart :

Even when the individual did not ask to be singled out, Jesus Christ still gave his personal attention. On some occasion he was on his way to a dying child when he was caught in a jostling throng. A woman with an embarrassing haemorrage edged her way through the crowd towards him.

"If only I can touch his cloak" she told herself, "I shall be saved". (Matthew 9:21)

Jesus Christ however turned and saw her and acknowledged her faith with warmth.Even though, he was on urgent business he would not let this woman disappear into obscurity again. She had touched his heart as well as his garment and that heart went out to her in so human a way that it revealed its hidden divinity.

Search for the Stray :

So concerned was he for the individual that Jesus Christ taught his disciples to be the same. "Will a Shepherd not leave the ninety- nine on the hillside he asked and go in search of the stray" ?? ( Matt 18:12)

It was the stray he cared for most.

Nothing deterred the Shepherd - Heart of Christ,not even the religious leaders who disapproved of his healing on the Sabbath. Jesus Christ by passed their disapproval since as he said himself the whole of the Law is fulfilled in loving and it was for our sake that the Sabbath was made not the other way round. (Matt 22: 36-40 and Mark 2:27)

So, he did not hesitate to heal the man with the withered hand and to straighten the woman bent nearly double for eighteen years. These miracles were his way of showing his even greater power to cure the internal withering and maladies of the soul in sin. It was after such events that the Pharisees went out and plotted how to kill him.

Love to the End :

Not even their murderous schemes, however could defeat Jesus Christ. As he hung from the cross he prayed for them to his Father : "Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

In that moment, he had totally absorbed into his "Dying Heart", not only the leprosy of the leper, the bleeding of the woman, the withered limbs and twisted spines of those bent double. He had even absorbed the hatred of those who wished him dead.

All these he transformed into a power for good that burst from his heart when he died. It was upon his heart that the last wound on his body was inflicted, when a Roman Soldier ripped it open with a spear.

Even in death, that heart remained open, emptying itself to the last drop of blood.

Saint John Chrysostom writes movingly :

"The Soldier pierced his side : he breached the wall of the holy temple and I found the treasure and acquired the wealth". This Month Jesus Christ invites all who labour and are overburdened to acquire a share in that wealth too. It flows from his wounded heart specially for you.

Credits : Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
              June 2008 Vol. 10 No 2
              A Share in his Riches by T. Oliver Pages 18-19

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Corpus Christi Sunday 2014 - Dedicated to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ 22nd June 2014

                                              Faith in His Presence

Introduction :

When the two disciples who had walked with Our Lord to Emmaus looked back afterwards at their experience; they must have realized that never again could they think of Jesus Christ as simply absent. The Risen Lord is always present in the Upper Room,on the Emmaus road,beside the Sea of Galilee, on top of Mount Olivet, everywhere.

Old Testament Presence :

The presence of the Lord is one of the great themes of the Old Testament by which the teachers of Israel were unconsciously preparing for Christ. It began in the desert in a tent or tabernacle. The word "Tabernacle" means "Tent", where Moses kept the Ark of the Covenant. This was called the "Tent of Meeting" and there Moses would come to consult the Lord.

New Testament Presence :

In the New Law, the presence of the divinity is given a new centre in the person of Jesus Christ. For Christians who are Catholics therefore, the first tabernacle of God is the "Flesh of Christ". When in the Middle Ages, the Church began to develop its devotion to the Body of Christ in the Sacrament; it often built the place of reservation in the form of a tent, even if the material was stone or wood and this place became the new "Tabernacle" of God.

Just as the disciples at Emmaus learned their lesson about the divine presence from their experience on the road, so most of us learn it from our experience of the "Tabernacle".

The Sacrament of Presence :

As we know, there are many ways in which Christ becomes present to us, but at the centre of them all and maintaining our belief in all the others stands the tabernacle.

The "Reserved Sacrament" is for us, the Sacrament of Presence.

A Deeper Notion of Presence :

This also helps us to appreciate how in its higher forms "Presence" should be mutual. It is one thing for Christ to be present to us in the tabernacle; it is another thing for us to be present to him.

Indeed here, we see one of the great purposes of the tabernacle. It is not just to bring his presence to us, since he is present to us already in so many ways; but this form of his presence is intended precisely to bring about our presence to him. It is really in view of this mutual sharing of presence that the "Reserved Sacrament" is called the Sacrament of Presence.

Mutual Presence :

Finally, we discover here how the tabernacle fulfils a role which the Mass by itself cannot do.

There is so much happening during " The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" and we are hopefully active in the liturgy in so many ways that rarely during Mass do we have the peace and quiet to concentrate on the wonder of this mutual presence between Our Lord and ourselves.

This then is what we can do more easily before the tabernacle.

Credits: Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
             July 2007,Vol 9 No 3
             "Faith in his Presence" by Raymond Maloney
             Pages 18-19

Notes : To know more about the "Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist"

Log on to http://www.therealpresence.org/

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