Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For daily Mass, a solemnity means that there are three readings, instead of two, and usually the Gloria is recited as part of the Introductory Rites. Usually for daily Mass there are only two readings and the Gloria is not said.
The readings today were beautiful. The first reading was from Ezekiel 34, and said in part, "I myself will look after and tend my sheep...I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark...the lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal...." You have to love that image. God isn't out-sourcing his caring and pawning it off on someone else to do. He has got our backs! The responsorial Psalm was the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want." Really? Probably, most of the time. The second reading from Romans 5 says, "The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit....Christ...died for the ungodly....we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son.... And the Gospel was the beautiful parable of the lost sheep from Luke 15. One of my favorite images of Jesus...when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy... I've been that lost sheep...
Father said that all week long, through the readings from 1Kings, we have been shown the "heart of God" and the Heart of God is mercy. Plain and simple, when we sin, returning to the heart of God is about forgiveness and reconciliation, strength and grace. Mercy. And if we follow Jesus in humility and obedience, it will lead us straight to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Those Sacred Heart pictures have always seemed a little odd to me. So in honor of the day, how about a lost sheep image?
I was able to get to Mass early today. That is my goal every day - to get there 15 or 20 minutes ahead of time to enjoy the quiet and pray, but during school it just doesn't happen. Today was the first time this summer that I've been there significantly early. (I thought I was early a couple of days....but I really wasn't.) Anyway, I was there before the candles were lit. One of my Facebook mom friends had posted about her cousin last week who had been given only a few weeks to live, so she was one of the people I prayed for while I was there. Kind of strange to get home and see on FB that during the same time frame I was sitting in church before 6:30 Mass, she had passed away..
I picked up the paint for our parking lot project this morning. Our test run will get underway this afternoon....
Nebraska parish going “ad orientem”
33 minutes ago