It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name (Ps. 92).
Our celebration of the Paschal Mystery in all its detail and significance was in a sense brought to a fitting conclusion with the beautiful Feast of Corpus Christi, and the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrated this past Friday. The one took us back to Holy Thursday, when Our Lord instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and the other to Good Friday when Our Lord consummated His Sacrifice on the Altar of the Cross. In the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded for our sins we have a summary of our whole faith and the path of our discipleship. We live our life in Christ endeavouring to be conformed to the Heart of Our Saviour. The pierced and wounded Heart of Our Lord is not unlike the hearts of many men and women and yes, sadly, even of children; broken by man’s cruelty. This wound, our own and Our Lord’s is easily a point of access into the depth of one’s being, an opportunity both to sympathize and empathize with others in what can be a profoundly intimate experience of human solidarity. It is precisely this capacity which enables us to become more authentically human after the pattern of Our Lord Jesus Christ and truly merciful according to His Most Sacred Heart.
In the account of Our Lord’s Crucifixion and the wounding of His Sacred Heart, St. John writes: But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out….These things occurred so that the Scripture might be fulfilled…. ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced’ (Jn. 19:34-37). This prophecy of Zechariah (12:10), is fulfilled each and every time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered, for at the elevation o of the Mass, we also look on the one whom they have pierced. In the cycle of the liturgical year we now resume what is sometimes referred to as Ordinary Time or more correctly, Time through the Year (Tempus Per Annum). Having celebrated the great mysteries of our faith during the Easter season, the last of the Feasts we have celebrated provide us with an ideal to uphold; we will strive to live a profoundly Eucharistic life and fashion our lives around the Eucharistic Mystery. The truth of course, is that there is absolutely nothing ordinary about what we do here in this church; Sunday after Sunday, day after day, no matter the liturgical season. The Mass is the highest act of worship and for this reason it is the highest exercise of the virtue of religion; as the very word (religio) indicates: religion binds us back to God.