Homily notes, Bishop Robert Morneau, Feast of the Sacred Heart

Bishop Robert Morneau was the homilist at the Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass at St. Martin of Tours
Bishop Robert Morneau was the homilist at the Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass at St. Martin of Tours

Eucharist central element of Feast of the Sacred Heart

Bishop Robert Morneau, auxiliary bishop of Green Bay, was the presider at the Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass at St. Martin of Tours Parish. The following are his notes from his homily:

Three brief reflections:

#1  The Eucharist and the Feast of the Sacred Heart

  • A number of years ago a “six-word project” was introduced; people were challenged to tell a story in just six works – for example:
  • “For Sale: babies shoes, never worn” (supposedly E. Hemingway)
  • A widow who lost her husband after forty years of marriage: “I still make coffee for two”
  • Another individual cried out: “Nobody cared.  Then someone did.  Why?”
  • I challenged myself: is it possible to describe the Eucharist, the central element on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, in six words?  Here is my attempt:
  • “Serious conversation!  Blessed Communion!  Painful transformation!”
  • Serious conversation (our three readings:  Dt. speaks about our being chosen and loved; John’s letter: the call to love one another; Gospel: “Come to me”) – serious conversation here as God speaks to us.
  • Blessed Communion!  The Church’s mission is one of union (with God) and unity (among ourselves).  The Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart is committed to this vision: union and unity – the very heart of Jesus and his great dream
  • Painful Transformation: our conversion is never over; there are always unredeemed areas of our minds and hearts – it takes a lifetime to put on the mind and heart of Jesus

#2  A Promise and the Feast of the Sacred Heart

  • In the book of Ezekiel (36:24-28) we are given a promise: God will give us a new spirit and a new heart
  • Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary of the United Nation, wrote this prayer in his journal entitled “Markings”

“Give me pure heart that I may see Thee,
A humble heart that I may hear Thee,
A heart of love that I may serve Thee,
A heart of faith that I may abide in Thee.”

These are certainly aspect of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  But there are others as well that come to mind:

“Lord, give us heart of courage that we may follow Thee; a heart of joy that we may sing with Thee; a heart of praise that we may adore Thee; a heart of gratitude that we may thank Thee; a heart of kindness that we may emulate thee; a heart of hospitality that we may welcome Thee; a compassionate heart that we may cry with Thee, a missionary heart that we may go with Thee.”

Yes, a Sacred Heart that we may be one with thee.

#3  Pope Francis:  three words that make our hearts more sacred

  • On Feb. 14, 2014 Pope Francis spoke to hundreds of young couples preparing for marriage.  He told that the secret of a good marriage were three words:  “Please!  Thanks!  Sorry!”
  • He went on to say that they should remember that there is no perfect family, no perfect husband, no perfect wife, AND no perfect mother-in-law.
  • “Please”  courtesy is essential; little things mean a lot
  • “Thanks”  express gratitude for one another, for the community
  • “Sorry”  willing to ask (and receive pardon)

Conclusion:  No celebration should be without a piece of poetry.  Here is a verse from Wu-Men, a Chinese poet from the fifth century:

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
A cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

Wu-Men  (1183-1260)

On this feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us ask for the grace to be done with unnecessary things and to be caught up in the one thing necessary: to receive God’s love and share it with others.

Click here to view photos from the feast-day Mass