June is the month especially dedicate to the piety and veneration to the sacred Heart of Jesus. In the good old days there was a custom of reciting the prayer to the sacred Heart of Jesus and dedicating the family members to the care and protection of the sacred heart. Every first Friday of the month, this dedication to the sacred heart was repeated. Every evening, after dusk, there was the custom of lightning the candle before the image of the sacred Heart and saying the family prayers with all members kneeling down piously. It used to help in reminding the family members is the dwelling piously. It used to help in reminding the family members that the family is the dwelling place of God, where they receive abundant blessings from him. All this looks like grandma stories that began with, “ Once upon a time…” Family prayers at dusk have, to a great extent become casual. Even where they exist, they have degenerated into something quite mechanical and ritualistic, lacking the zeal and enthusiasm of the heart. The time for family prayers has been diverted to watch the tear, jerking serials, lascivious cinemas, twenty matches or club activities which are dominated by card games and booze. The result ? Bickering and fights take away the serenity, joy and peace of the home.
During the feast of sacred heart we are commemorating the love of God that has been revealed to us in a special way through the pierced and lacerated Heart of Jesus. Heart is the most natural, potent and eloquent symbol of love. The sacred heart is the heart of the Son of God who incarnated as the man. It represents the divine as well as the human love that Jesus has for each one of us.
The sacred heart of Jesus is the living symbol of the whole mystery of our redemption. “for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). When we meditate about the life of Jesus after the Bible, what specially impresses us is the love and compassion of Jesus for us. “as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, abide in my love” (Jn15:9). Jesus became known as the fried of even taxmen and sinners. He was always prepared to forgive the repentant sinners. He came to save the sinners and not the righteous. He felt pity and compassion for the crowd that had thronged to hear him. “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way – and some of them have from a great distance” (Mk 8:2-4). Jesus cries standing near the grave of Lazarus because he had loved him dearly. He also comforts the widows of Nain after raising her son from death. He calls all kinds of people who are weary or who have any sort of pain or suffering. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
Even in the passion and crucifixion we witness the incomparable love of Jesus. As the greatest symbol of his love for man, he instituted the Holy Eucharist during the last supper. Definitely he took upon himself all our transgressions and iniquities. He suffered our pains. The passion and crucifixion are eloquent proof of love. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15.13)
We are obliged to reciprocate his love. We should show our love for Jesus by loving and serving our brethren who have been created in the form and image of God himself. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another” (Jn 13:34). The love of Jesus encompassed everybody. He has asked us to love even our enemies. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Lk6:27-28)
Let us meticulously examine our souls. Do we love others as we love ourselves ? Are we prepared to look at their pain and suffering as our own and find ways to help them out ? Are we prepared to make some sacrifices to help people in need ? Are we willing to open our hearts and our pursues to do good for others ? Only if we do all these things we will become true followers of Christ.