SOLEMNITY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS.
1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. 4 I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one, who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.
8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! How can I make you like Admah! How can I treat you like Zeboiim! My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. 9 I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come to destroy.
Ephesians 3:8-12, 14-19
8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
11 This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,12 in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man,17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
35 He who saw it has borne witness–his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth–that you also may believe.
36 For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of him shall be broken.” 37 And again another scripture says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”
THE PROPHET HOSEA describe the disposition, compassion and concern of a loving parent, teacher and physician who is all concerned about a son. God is presented as a caring, all embracing parent who shall never give up on a wayward child in distress who do not wish this child be destroyed by evil. God is unlike man who can so easily give up, abandon or abort offspring to serve our disordered ends.
St PAUL TEACHES that the mystery of God’s plan has been endowed to the Church to make it known to the heavenly beings who are in the company of God.The word mystery comes from the Greek word ‘mysterion’ which denotes an untold or concealed doctrine or rite that came about by Christs free offering of Himself whereby mans faith in Him enables us to access our heavenly Father! The Church or Ecclesia is thus the visible and supernatural expression of God’s fullness where through mans love of Christ emanate our coming into the fullness of the Father. In other words the Church is the progenitor and transmitter of God’s love and gifts, because of and through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. We note that Paul did not reference His epistles but appealed to a Tradition that the ‘Apostolic ecclesiastical office bearers practiced at the time!
THE GOSPEL READING details Pilates final instructions to certify that Jesus is not perhaps feigning His death! The request to break the legs of Christ was made by the Jewish leadership to ensure that Christs suffering is extended because the victim cannot push themselves up to catch a breath, which leads to a slow painful death! Instead our Lords side was pierced whereby water and blood flowed from His side. This imagery of “blood and water”reminds us of the temple observances when water used for purification at the entrance that flowed in ducts past the altars of Sacrifice where blood from the slain lamb mingled with the water that exits in the Jordan river where our Lord and many of His disciples were baptised.
We recall the sinful Samaritan woman’s desire to receive the gift of “living water” (Jn 4:10,15) as well as our Lords desire to quench His thirst with a “drink of water,” but instead He received a drink of “sour wine” which was a fulfillment of the OT covenant whereby animal Sacrifices included the mingling of blood and water and the drink of wine at the Passover meal. Lev 14:16 When the priest prepare the Sacrifical offerings at Holy Mass, he mix a little water with the wine. Christ is made present and enters into our midts! Those who partake of the Consecrated substances of flesh and blood in the form of bread, wine mixed with living water, are renewed and cleansed from sin. This is indeed a mystery which we assent to with faith and believe in Christ Jesus.
LET US PRAY: Isaiah 12:2-6
2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name; make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 “Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. 6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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