Gospel Reflection Friday (24 June) – 12th week Ordinary Time – The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Today as we celebrate the feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr Prodencio Bognay reads from the Gospel of Luke (15: 3-7) in which Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep that is found and of the shepherd calling his friends and neighbors together saying, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my sheep that was lost.’
Fr Prodencio opens his reflection quoting the last lines of the Gospel, ‘There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous persons who have no need of repentance’. He says, among the uniqueness of the teachings of Jesus was his strong message that God cares for every single one of us and the entire creation.
While the popular and common understanding is that God loves only those who are good, Jesus gave a radical message saying that God loves even those whom we think to be unworthy of his love. Fr Prodencio says, the parable of the lost sheep illustrates this.
While it doesn’t sound practical to be celebrating over one lost but found sheep, we find it wonderful to know that our God cares for each one of us even if we get lost along our journey at times.
Central to the most sacred heart of Jesus is his care and compassion to the outcast and the needy; Throughout his public ministry, his inauguration of the kingdom of God revolved around showing compassion to the people around him especially the outcast. This is not to say that God loves only the outcast and the needy. This is rather to say that in our neediness and lowliness, we encounter the divine love. Jesus has illustrated this through his public ministry.
As we celebrate then the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus today, Fr Prodencio invites us to reflect not only on how he really made each one of us feel special in the eyes of God, but also reflect on how we ourselves can show care and compassion to others around us.