Wednesday, February 29, 2012

His Most Sacred Heart

We pray one last time for the Holy Father’s intentions: that all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life and that the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world’s poorest regions. May our hearts open to the needs of these people just as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is open to them. This reflection is from Pope Benedict’s 2011 Message for the World Day of the Sick.

When contemplating the wounds of Jesus our gaze turns to his most sacred Heart, in which God’s love manifests itself in a supreme way. The Sacred Heart is Christ crucified, with the side opened by the lance from which flowed blood and water (cf. Jn 19:34), ‘symbol of the sacraments of the Church, so that all men, drawn to the Heart of the Savior, might drink with joy from the perennial fountain of salvation’ (Roman Missal, Preface for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). Especially you, dear sick people, feel the nearness of this Heart full of love and draw with faith and joy from this source, praying: ‘Water of the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear my prayers. In your wounds, hide me’ (Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola).

…I would like to express my affection to each and everyone, feeling myself a participant in the sufferings and hopes that you live every day in union with the crucified and risen Christ, so that he gives you peace and healing of heart. Together with him may the Virgin Mary, whom we invoke with trust as Health of the Sick and Consoler of the Suffering, keep watch at your side! At the foot of the Cross the prophecy of Simon was fulfilled for her: her heart as a Mother was pierced (cf. Lk 2:35). From the depths of her pain, a participation in that of her Son, Mary is made capable of accepting the new mission: to become the Mother of Christ in his members. At the hour of the Cross, Jesus presents to her each of his disciples, saying: “Behold your son” (cf. Jn 19:26-27). Her maternal compassion for the Son becomes maternal compassion for each one of us in our daily sufferings.

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