Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, was the presider and homilist at the feast-day Mass at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.
“This year, as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart in a time of darkness and uncertainty, we listen to the invitation of Jesus: ‘Come to me, all you who are burdened. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.’ Perhaps for the first time in our lives we do not need to search for the suffering that we hold in common across the world. It feels like a heavy yoke has fallen upon the shoulders of all of us and particularly on the shoulders of the most vulnerable – the poor, all victims of racism, migrants, the elderly and perhaps others…
“Now, COVID-19 and the state of our world shouts to us to be attentive to this moment in history. I ask you today, on this solemnity, to live more humanly in the way Jesus lived, to be One Body in closer solidarity with each other. This is the opportunity to put real flesh on our commitment, an opportunity to change the way we look at the world, to ask ourselves how can we as Dehonians or as lay people respond in new ways to live in solidarity with each other and with those who are most suffering.”
Click here to read his full homily.
As a part of the Canadian feast-day celebration, Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ, shared a written text based on his research regarding the theology of the Heart of Christ that was done for November, 2019, Sacred Heart Congress in Rome.
“What can we say about the Sacred Heart in the midst of a civilizational crisis caused by a virus, when disease and death are all around us, and when like the disciples after the death of Jesus we are huddled inside in fear?” wrote Fr. John. “Their crisis was the lifeless body of Jesus hanging on a cross, its side pierced by a lance. We can still hear the crisis in the voices of the two disciples fleeing from the place of death: ‘But we had hoped…’ We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel, that he would get us out of the impasse of a life that seemed to go nowhere. But it was not to be. Their hopes were dashed – another false lead! – and they were returning home.
“Isn’t that our situation as well? We have now been in our upper rooms at 192 Daly, 58 High Park, Blvd Gouin, 1 Darlington, the Séminaire, Square Angus and Frère André for more than three months and death is still all around us. We can’t, like the two disciples, just leave the place of death and return to a safe home and leave all of this behind us. We feel that we cannot let up our vigilance because the virus will only pursue us…
“So, on this day let us look with the figure of the pierced side of Jesus. Let me do it in three points. First, I would like to say something about the role of the devotion of the Sacred Heart in history, second about what the devotion says about my origin, or humanity’s origin, and finally what the devotion says about our being in the world, our cosmos, our country.”
Click here to read Fr. John’s full text.
Also, Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, prepared a reflection in Spanish titled “A medidas extremas, Mas Amor al extremo” [To Extreme Measures, More Love to the Extreme]. In it, he writes about the “extreme” love of the Sacred Heart as the base from which humanity can respond to the pandemic.
Click here to read Br. Diego’s text (in Spanish).
Let the Priests of the Sacred Heart pray for your loved ones and intentions.