June with Jesus and Mary

The essence and heart of our Christian life is for us to welcome and receive God’s Goodness, Tenderness and Merciful Love, and to let ourselves be transformed by that love. When we walk with God we lack nothing.

(A)  SACRED HEART OF JESUS”- We celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Friday in the 3rd week of Pentecost that is on the 7th of June this year. The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated the next day i.e. Saturday, 8th June.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the actual heart of Jesus. It is depicted with a crown of thorns and flames around it. We are reminded of the Presence, Protection and Power of Jesus in our life. The heart is the seat of love in the human body, therefore it is from the heart that the Love of Jesus flows for us.

Consecrating ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a personal and loving way to renew and live our Baptismal Vows. We acknowledge Jesus’ Kingship in our lives, pledging our love back to Him who has so graciously and sacrificially loved us. Jesus’ Heart longs for us to offer our love and devotion in return.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus first came through the mystic Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque. She was a 17th century Visitation Nun, who received visions from God for most of her life. Jesus revealed to this saint, His Heart burning with love for us. When she was quite grown up her mother encouraged her to go to a dance. While at the dance, she received a vision of a scourged and bloodied Jesus. He asked her if she had forgotten about Him. At this point she decided to become a nun. Indeed, she did and her visions continued. Jesus taught her a particular devotion with the following elements: –

  1. To receive the Eucharist (Holy Communion) on the First Friday of every month, for seven consecutive months.
  2. To spend time in Eucharistic Adoration during the weekly Thursday Holy Hour. Adoration is the time spent praying in the presence of the Eucharist held within a monstrance. People can pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their own words or through pre-written prayers.
  3. To celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus leads us to offer a gift of ourselves to the One who first offered Himself completely to us and for us.

(B)  IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: – Traditionally the Immaculate Heart of Mary is depicted besides the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. the picture depicts the Heart of Mary pierced with 7 swords to reflect the 7 sorrows or events in Mary’s life when she participated in Christ’s own sacrifice. Usually roses, either red or white are shown wrapped around her heart. No one suffers quite like a mother who watches her child endure pain and agony.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary signifies the purity and love of the heart of the Blessed Virgin for God. This purity is seen in her “Yes” to the Father at the Annunciation. Her love for and cooperation with her Son in His work of our redemption, and her obedience to the Holy Spirit enabled her to remain free of the stain of personal sin through her life. Mother Mary’s Immaculate Heart points to her interior life when she experienced both Joy and Sorrow, yet remained faithful as we are called to do.

Pope John Paul II said, “From Mary we learn we love Christ her Son, the Son of God. Learn from her to be always faithful, to trust that God’s Word to you will be fulfilled and that nothing is Impossible with God”. When we honour the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we give ultimate honour to Jesus. As we honour the Mother, we honour the Son. The Blessed Virgin is our Mother. St. Louis de Montford said, “If we put all the love of all the mothers in one heart, it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.

How to become devoted to Mother Mary? In 1929 appearing to Lucia in Fatima, Our Lady said, “I promise to assist at the hour of death with the Graces necessary for Salvation, all those who on the first Saturday of 5 consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite 5 decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes while making reparation to me”. This is needed more today than in 1929. It is within the reach of every Catholic. In fulfilling it we please our Lord who like any son is pleased when others come to  the defense of His Mother’s honour.

Let us understand that “Sacred Heart” refers to Jesus, and “Immaculate Heart” refers to Mary. In displaying and honouring the images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we invite others to experience their Love. The Power of these Holy Pictures in our homes, leads us to contemplate the Love of Jesus and Mary so as to melt, convert and inspire us to give them our hearts in return.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus that began beating in the womb of the Blessed Virgin more than 2000 years ago still beats today. His unconditional, infinite and divine love is the only hope that can heal the world of its hatred, sin and rejection of God. The Heart of Jesus will pulsate forever for us, pumping out the Grace, Mercy and Love of God to all humanity. May we, our families and friends experience the overwhelming Mercy of God and His Infinite desire to be in relationship with us. May the month of June be for us the beginning of a deeper relationship with Jesus, and to experience His Goodness, Tenderness and Love.

– J. Rodrigues