Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!

Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus—14 June AD 2015
Third Sunday after Pentecost

[ Ordinary of the Mass ]

[English Text - Sacred Heart of Jesus]
[Latin Text - Sacred Heart of Jesus]

[ English Text - Sunday within the Octave]
[ Latin Text - Sunday within the Octave ]

[Encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor]
[Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus]
[Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus]

“There shall be joy among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”[1]

    This past Friday we celebrated the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The Gospel for that feast is taken from Saint John's account of the Crucifixion.  He describes the soldier piercing the side of our Lord and drawing forth blood and water from His Sacred Heart.  Today's Gospel presents the central reason why our Lord came into the world, and why He gave Himself over to be crucified.  Almighty God had created man and women in His own image, giving them the power to reproduce themselves, insuring that there would be many more souls brought forth in His image and likeness.

    These were souls meant to spend eternity with God, but the Devil in his jealousy had put a serious crimp in God's plan.  Adam and Eve had been given very special graces that enabled them to be rewarded with God's favor for the good things that they did.  They were God’s son and daughter and would have been treated with all of the benevolence one might expect from a loving father.  But by listening to the Devil and disobeying God's command, they forfeited their eternal inheritance.

    Not only did they forfeit all claim to God's graces for themselves, but they forfeited all of the graces that might have been earned by their descendants.  Like a man who had gambled away a rich fortune and had noting left to leave to his children, Adam and Eve's children would have no way to please God, and no way to enjoy eternal happiness with Him in heaven.  Right at the very beginning, God's generosity was frustrated.  Insignificant mankind had sinned, and thereby had insulted an infinite God—but being insignificant, had nothing to offer God in a good faith apology.  There must have been great sadness among the angels, for they knew how much God loved them, and how much He must have wanted to love His human creatures.

    But even at the very hour of mankind's fall from grace, God announced a plan to make things right again.  God addressed the Devil directly: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed:  she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”[2]  This may have been a little vague, but the descendants of Adam and Eve were able to live their lives with the knowledge that sometime in the future God would send a woman to undo the damage done when Eve listened to the Devil's suggestion that by sinning she and Adam would “become like gods.”[3]

    In the inscrutable mind of God the plan was much more specific:  God Himself, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity would enter human history at the appropriate time, would join human nature to His divinity, would enter the world as the child of the promised woman.  He would teach men the ways of God, establish a Church and priesthood to carry out man's sanctification, and then would offer Himself to The Father as the perfect sacrifice on the Cross.  As true man He could atone for mankind, and as true God His sacrifice was infinitely acceptable.

    But , let us go back to the angels for a moment. It is conjectured that the angels knew God's plans for mankind, even before man was created.  (God, of course knew His own plans for all eternity.)  The conjecture is that all of the angels knew that the Son of God would one day take human form, and that some of the angels revolted because their sinful pride would not allow them to contemplate the future necessity of worshipping one who possessed the human nature that was so far inferior to their own.[4]  The rebellious angels fancied themselves as being very much like God, and nothing like that inferior creature that was encumbered by a physical body, limited by space and time.  These angels fell from grace, and from the time forward resolved to thwart God's will by tempting me and women to sin.  They seemed successful—even victorious—with the fall of Adam and Eve.

    But then, “In the fullness of time” God carried out His plan, and Jesus Christ, true God, became true man, conceived by the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Certainly there was joy in the voice of the Archangel as he said: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”[5]  Indeed, a whole choir of angels was on hand— “a multitude of the heavenly army” —“ I bring you good tidings of great joy!” and they sang, for the first time, the Angelic Hymn, “Glória in excélsis Deo.”[6]

    The angelic joy over our Lord’s birth was truly unselfish.  The angels were joyful because God was joyful that mankind could rejoin God’s plan: men and women could once again do good in this world that would that would eternally unite them with God and bring them eternal happiness—men and women could be happy, God would be happy and the angels would be happy because God and man could be happy together.

    But the greatest joy is the repentance of sinners.  There is joy that good people are good, but as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux remarked: “The tears of the penitents are wine for the angels.”  It is far more remarkable when someone deeply mired in sin shakes off his bad habits, confesses his sins, and begins to walk the “straight and narrow.”

    Obviously, one cannot argue with our Lord Himself when He says: “there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.”[7]  But, which one of us does not need penance??  Perhaps we have no “axe-murderers” in our congregation, but we are all tempted to sin, and sometimes we act on those temptations.  The very holy, Curé d’ Ars, Saint John Vianney, is said to have exclaimed: “If we could only see the JOY of our Guardian Angel when he sees us fighting our temptations!”

    Friday past, we had the opportunity to reflect on God’s great love for His creatures—love that literally streams from His Sacred Heart.  There is sorrow in heaven whenever that love is rejected by sin.  But, for as long as we live, we have the opportunity to repent of sin (or to resist it to begin with—we have the opportunity to bring joy to heaven:  Joy to God and His Blessed Virgin Mother;  joy to the angels;  and joy to our own selves in eternity!

“There shall be joy among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!