(Friday before the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost)
In the 16th century Calvinism, and in the 17th Jansenism, preached a distorted Christianity that substituted for God’s love and sacrifice of His Son for all men the fearful idea that a whole section of humanity was inexorably damned.
The Church always countered this view with the infinite love of our Saviour who died on the cross for all men. The institution of the feast of the Sacred Heart was soon to contribute to the creation among the faithful of a powerful current of devotion which since then has grown steadily stronger. The first Office and Mass of the Sacred Heart were composed by St. John Eudes, but the institution of the feast was a result of the appearances of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675.
Our Lord said: “Here is the Heart that so loved man.” The texts of the Mass form a magnificent evocation of the depth and breadth of our Saviour’s love. In the Epistle, we read of St. Paul’s thanksgiving for the infinite dimensions of the divine dispensation. In the Gospel, we hear of the piercing of our Lord’s side, whence flowed the waters of Baptism and the Blood of the Eucharist. This is the very symbol of redemptive love.