Memory of Jesus crucified

Share On

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 19, 31-37

It was the Day of Preparation, and to avoid the bodies' remaining on the cross during the Sabbath -- since that Sabbath was a day of special solemnity -- the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away.

Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other.

When they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs

one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.

This is the evidence of one who saw it -- true evidence, and he knows that what he says is true -- and he gives it so that you may believe as well.

Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture: Not one bone of his will be broken;

and again, in another place scripture says: They will look to the one whom they have pierced.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although a recent liturgical celebration, this feast is rooted in the very heart of Christianity. Introducing us to the profound meaning of this celebration, the preface of the Liturgy invites us to contemplate the mystery of the love of Jesus: “From the cross, in his limitless love, he gave us life, and from the wounds of his side he poured forth blood and water, symbol of the sacraments of the Church, so that all of us, drawn to the heart of the Saviour, would be able to joyfully draw from the eternal spring of salvation.” The liturgy sings of Jesus’ heart as the wellspring of salvation. Yes, that heart of flesh that did not spare anything, that gave all of itself until the final drop of blood in order to deliver us from the slavery of evil, that heart - Jesus’ heart - continues to gush forth love, uninterrupted throughout the centuries. Jesus’ love is really unthinkable, as it knows no limits, not even death. The evangelist writes, “one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out” (v. 34). This liturgical remembrance is an invitation to all to turn our attention to the mystery of this heart that empties itself for our salvation. It is a heart of flesh that was moved and made tender, that wept and felt compassion, never for himself but always for others. He did not favour anyone but the poor, the little, the weak and sinners. His heart is not like ours, often as hard as stone, insensitive even in face of so much love. Jesus’ public ministry began with a compassionate heart. Matthew writes (9:36) that as Jesus went through the cities and villages of Galilee, he was moved by the crowds who flocked to him because they were tired and harassed like sheep without a shepherd. He started gathering and healing them. With Jesus the prophet of which the prophet Ezekiel spoke had arrived: “I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered … I will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land” (Ez 34:11-13). The Gospel of John invites us to keep our eyes fixed on the crucified, on the heart that let itself be pierced for us in order to restore to men and women the power to love.