Solemnity of the Sacred Heart


Hos 11:1, 3-4,5c,8ac-9
Eph 3:8-12, 14-19
Jn 19:31-37


Paul’s prayer fits so well as we remember the heart of Jesus so filled with love,
compassion and forgiveness.
How’s your hidden self going? Is it good news of bad news? The feast we celebrate
today is an opportunity for us to take a reading of that part of our lives that makes it
worth living and that reminds us that we are not dead!
“Out of his infinite glory may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden
self to grow strong”. If you are at all like me, then I reckon that there are times in your
life when you do not want your hidden self to be seen, let alone to be named or
commented on. But we are ’planted in love and built on love’ And in the present
state of our world, this love needs to take charge of my life and my words and my
actions. It is so easy to be defensive and reactionary. With the hourly recalling of
grievances, of pain and of hurt inflicted that spew out of our 24 hour news channels,
it is really hard to touch the tender part of our hidden selves and to allow it to grow
strong and to flourish.
We hear daily of people buried as a hillside collapses in Papua New Guinea. Look
at the faces from which every expression is torn away in Rafah as the vicious bombs
burn children in their fragile tents and parents stand mute in grief. So it seems to me
that we need to join a counter revolution that refuses to be swamped, to be filled with
rage at the state of the world, or to stop trying.
From his cross Jesus says to us “learn from me, for I am gentle of heart”. I think a
more accurate rendering of these words placed on the lips of Jesus is “learn from
me for I have a still heart”. So today I pray for a still heart that will zen in let me live
in the present moment and respond from my hidden self, daily refreshed by the Spirit
of resurrection, the Spirit of Jeus, both crucified and broken open, but also risen and
alive and alert and still ready to join us on our journey to Emmaus where there is a
real chance that it will make our hearts ‘burn with us’ as we recognise what it is all
I need never to forget that It was not the nails that held Jesus on the cross, It was
and it is love that holds him there.
May the Sacred Heart, broken open and laid bare, will give us fresh hope and joy
and the capacity to look at one another with fresh eyes and fresh imagination.

Fr. Kevin Dance CP is the vicar of the St.Brigid’s Retreat, Marrickville. He is very actively involved in ministries locally and at Passionist International where he served as the Executive Director for many years.