Opening Prayer: Lord God, give us the strength and love of the heart of your Son Jesus, that, by becoming one with him, we may have eternal salvation. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Scripture Reading: 1 John 4: 7-12 If God has loved us so, we must have the same love for one another.
Matt. 15: 29-38 My heart is moved with pity for the crowd.
Reflection: One wise spiritual guide once wrote:
The big day in your spiritual life will come not when you realize how much you might love God or your neighbor, but when you realize how much God loves you. Throughout the gospels, Jesus sets an example of sensitive and responsive love. When two blind men call out, the crowd wants to silence them. But Jesus calls them to come nearer, and moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes and immediately they could see (Mt. 20:34). In our Scripture reading, we see how His Heart is moved with pity at the crowd (Matt. 15:32) They are hungry, so he and his disciples feed them. On another occasion, he hears of the death of his friend Lazarus and goes directly to restore him to life. At Cana, in response to the request of his mother, he changes the water into wine. Rather than acting out of a unchanging and eternal plan, Jesus shows a Heart that responded in love in any situation where there was a need.
We pray for a sensitive and loving heart, like the Heart of Jesus, that is ready and willing to respond where ever love is lacking, where and when ever love is needed.
1.Take a few minutes each evening to reflect back on the day. Was there any situation, any person who called for your love or care? How did you respond? If your love was weak, at least say a prayer for that person or persons involved, and think of one way that you could show love to that person when you next meet them.
2. Pray to the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit keep you alert, sensitive, open, and responsive to the needs of others.
This Novena in Honor of the Sacred Heart was written by Rev. Peter Schineller S.J . for the Apostleship of Prayer/League of the Sacred Heart.