Friday 24 June 2022 – SACRED HEART OF JESUS      

1st Reading: Ez 34:11-16   

Thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep.  As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep.  I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark.  I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel in the land’s ravines and all its inhabited places.  In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God.  The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.

2nd Reading: Rom 5:5b-11  

Brothers and sisters:  The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.  For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly.  Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.  But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.  How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath.  Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life.  Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Gospel: Lk 15:3-7    

Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes: “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

THE HEART OF A SHEPHERED: The Masai people of East Africa, are known for their bravery and dedication. They are capable of putting their own lives at risk for the sake of their cattle. Shepherds are known for their loyalty and dedication. The feast of the Sacred Heart provides us with another opportunity to contemplate the love of God made visible in Jesus. Christ Jesus humbled himself taking the form of a man, he humbled himself even to death on a cross, he humbles himself even more to take the form of the Eucharist. That is his love for us. It is this love that the Sacred Heart reminds us of. The readings of today provide us with a special perspective on that love, that it is a love of the shepherd: a love that takes risks, a love that offers totally and unconditionally love that cares for me.

Prayer. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I surrender myself to your love. Have mercy on me.

CARRIED BY GOD: Every person is precious in the eyes of God. In the African setting, the loss of a member brings sorrow and restlessness leading to endless searches. Similarly, God, the Good shepherd through various ministers constantly seeks those who are lost, bind the injured, and heal the sick (Ez 34:16).The poor economy, injustices and political crisis in Kenya, the political wars in South Sudan and the age limit debate in Uganda  places us in the same situation of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7). Sin blinds us and makes us to see the other as object of war, violence and sexual abuse. God, in order to rescue the lost in sin, sent his only Son to search for us. His preaching, crucifixion and death were the calls to repentance and conversion. His death reconciled us to God (Rom. 5:10). May we listen to Christ’s voice when he calls us daily through scriptures.


A HEART FULL OF LOVE: Today we observe the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The heart is the centre of the human person. For our sake, the heart of Jesus passionately loves and so experiences deep wounds. On this International day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence we realize that the absence of love violates the integrity of women and children in areas having conflicts. A story goes that there was a big celebration in heaven, to mark the successful crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites. The angels and the citizens of heaven were in joy and merry making when an Archangel noticed that God was not present. In a mud rush for Him, they found sitting in a corner weeping. He was crying for Pharaoh and for the thousands of his other children who had drowned in Red Sea. Such is God’s heart and that of Jesus. God is love and love is God. In love God is present in all our life experiences. May we experience this love always and share it with our neighbours.


A HEART FULL OF LOVE: The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus puts before us a “picture” of who Jesus is. Jesus reveals himself as one who loves us and manifests in the way he cares for us. Jesus knows that left by ourselves we are doomed to eternal death. In order to save us from eternal damnation he gives his life for us on the Cross. The death of Christ on the Cross shows us that though we have sinned, he still loves us. He welcomes us into His eternal home by freeing us from the prison of sin. If all people would have a heart like Jesus the world would become a (small) heaven. When did you last have pity on a person who had offended you? Did that person offend you more than you offended Jesus?