The Gospel according to John (John 19:31-37)
Since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, for the Sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken. And again another passage says: They will look upon him whom they have pierced.
Opening Prayer: Sacred Heart of Jesus, I adore you. I pray with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque: “From the depth of my nothingness, I prostrate myself before you, O Most Sacred, Divine, and Adorable Heart of Jesus, to pay to you all the homage of love, praise, and adoration in my power. Amen.”
Encountering Christ: In the gospel account today, we see just how much Jesus loves each of us. We are reminded that at the crucifixion Jesus gives his full measure for us. Literally he pours out everything that was inside of him. The blood and water that flowed from his side is the basis for our image of the Divine Mercy photo.
So what is the gospel calling us to do today OR what is the “Good News” for us. It boils down to the simple denominator of LOVE. Jesus so loves us that he was willing to give his life up so that we might be able to live in all eternity.
In Jesus’ dying on the cross, he establishes the way for us to gain eternal life in heaven. It is through this act of love that we see that Jesus makes death the very doorway to heaven. He leaves this world and moves through death into eternal life.
As Jesus sheds the final measure of blood and water from his side, Jesus seals the New Covenant. But how do we see ourselves in that relationship with Christ. Are we willing to die to self in order to align ourselves with Jesus’ teachings? How well do we follow Jesus in the journey of life preparing ourselves for entry into eternal life?
Remember that Jesus loves each of us so much that he constantly reaches out to us to bring peace and love to our own lives, families and community. Remember too that as we carry our own crosses each day – Jesus is always there to carry us and our cross….. What a great God we have!
Closing Prayer: Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me. Pierced for my transgressions, hide me within your open wounds. You bled for me; you burn for me. May I, too, bleed and burn for souls through acts of love and mercy. May I love and serve you and my neighbors as you commanded me.
Action for the Day: Lord, today by your grace I will make a loving act of devotion to your most Sacred Heart.