‘The heart of Jesus was wounded for love of us: come let us adore him.’ (Invitatory antiphon).
During this time of pandemic many gestures of love are shown by individuals, organisations, families, neighbours, relations, businesses and friends. The Post Office also shows a gesture of love, by offering the public, post-cards to send messages to their loved ones. The message on one printed card reads ‘Sending Love’ Come Together (Tar le chéile), Write Now (Scríobh anois) #Write Now (# Scríobh anois). These can be sent free to anyone in Ireland and can be picked up at any local post office.
On this day the Church invites God’s people to reflect on and to pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose heart flows with God’s love and mercy for all people. What a great gift to receive at this opportune moment.
Today’s readings from the Book of Deuteronomy (Deut 7:6-11), the first Letter of St John (1 John 4: 7-16) and the Gospel (Mt 11:25-30) are proclaimed at Mass via the webcam or read from the Old and New Testament.
The first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy proclaims God’s love. God’s people are consecrated to God. They are chosen to be God’s people from all the people on earth. They are chosen because God loves them. God showed God’s love for them by bringing them from slavery in Egypt and releasing them from the power of Pharaoh. God is true and faithful and keeps the covenant. God instructs the people to keep the commandments, that means loving God and loving one’s neighbour.
The second reading encourages God’s people to love one another as God loves God’s people.
In the Gospel, Jesus prays to God his Father and praises God for revealing God’s self to all people, not just to ‘the wise and learned.’ Jesus acknowledges his intimate and unique relationship with his Father, who has entrusted everything to Jesus. Only Jesus can reveal the Father to those whom he chooses.
Jesus invites all those who are carrying heavy burdens to come to him to be refreshed. He encourages the disciples in their mission of discipleship. Jesus comforts them by inviting them to ‘learn from him’, because he says, ‘I am gentle and humble of heart.’
SEEK GOD’S LOVE IN THE GROW IN LOVE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMME
Many families show devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They may have a statue of the Sacred Heart at home or an image of the Sacred Heart and light a candle and pray. Others may have never heard of this devotion. This is a very attractive feast as the readings are so filled with the universal, bountiful and lavish love of Jesus. Jesus draws those who desire into his loving heart to share in this love.
Children reflect on the experience of love in their personal lives as they communicate with family and friends. Loving gestures and acts of kindness are encouraged in homes, parishes and schools each day. God’s love is expressed in concrete ways. Children begin to appreciate God’s love in God’s Creation. They reflect on the wonders of nature and the loving events of life. They begin to show gratitude and praise while they grow in trust. Gratitude fosters love.
Children recognise that God with great love sent Jesus on earth to proclaim the Good News to God’s people. Jesus healed the sick, forgave sinners and set people free from what stopped them loving God. Children recognise too that they are chosen and blessed by God in many ways. By their Baptism they identify their mission as partaking in Jesus’ mission.
Once again, children are prompted to recall the story of Moses and how he was called to lead God’s people from slavery into the Promised Land. God protected the people all the way.
Through reading Scripture, both Old and New Testament children are taught the various attributes of God. God protects, loves, shares, is true, faithful and compassionate. Jesus came to earth to show God’s people how good God is and Jesus showed the way of love. He also taught the way of love in the new commandment and the Great commandment.
God asked the people to keep the commandments. Children might revise the Ten Commandments and chat about their meaning for their lives. God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. These commandments help disciples to live in freedom as they strive to love God and one another and the environment.
In the Gospel the children read that Jesus prayed to his Father. In praying to him, Jesus praised him. Children too can praise and thank God for his love and care. Jesus had a special relationship with the Father and children are taught that Jesus draws us all into this love, into his heart. Jesus teaches all who believe about the Father. Jesus encourages the disciples to follow him and bring their burdens to him. Jesus is ‘gentle and humble of heart.’ He calls the children and disciples also to gentleness and humility.
Children also recall the Crucifixion of Jesus and how when he was pierced with a spear, blood and water flowed from his side. Jesus is our Redeemer and Saviour. Jesus rose to new life and this is our hope.
The blood and water are symbols of the sacraments of Eucharist and Baptism.
In the Divine Mercy image seen by St Faustina, the blood and water rays are visible.
Today children are encouraged to reflect on the life of Jesus – his life, death and resurrection. The statue of the Sacred Heart is situated in many parish churches. People like to light a candle to the Sacred Heart and ask for help for a certain person or situation. People nationally and internationally, believe in the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Many schools and institutions and Religious Congregations take the Sacred Heart as their Patron.
A popular prayer people say is, ‘O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You.’
As children grow in the love of Jesus, they learn to trust more and more in his compassion and mercy.
Resources on the VERITAS website are available ‘to support the mystery of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.
READ from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé
‘God Calls Moses’ (Ex 3:1-16), ‘The Covenant at Sinai’ (Ex 19:3-8), ‘The Ten Commandments’ (Exodus 20:1-17), ‘Psalm 139:1-6, 13-16’, ‘Jeremiah 31:33-4’, ‘Jesus Heals a man with a paralysed hand’ ( Mt 12:9-14), ‘Jesus is the Messiah’ ( Lk 4:16-22), ‘The Road to Emmaus’ (Lk 24).
ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
My Jesus, I believe that You are in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I long for You in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
As though You have already come, I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You;
never permit me to be separated from You.
SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
‘Grow in Love’, ‘Take Off Your Shoes’, ‘The Great Commandment’, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, ‘Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat’, ‘Close to You’, ‘ Bible Rap’, ‘Song for a young prophet’, ‘Love’, ‘The Summons’.
PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé
PRAYER BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION
Lord Jesus, come to me.
Lord Jesus, give me your love.
Lord Jesus, come to me and give me yourself.
Lord Jesus, friend of children, come to me.
Lord Jesus, you are my Lord and my God.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
PAIDIR ROIMH CHOMAOINEACH
A Thiarna Íosa, tar chugam.
A Thiarna Íosa, tabhair dom do ghrá.
A thiarna Íosa, tar chugam agus
Tabhair tú féin dom.
A Thiarna Íosa, a chara na bpáistí, tar
A Thiarna Íosa, is tú mo Thiarna agus mo Dhia.
Moladh leat, a Thiarna Íosa Críost
PRAYER AFTER HOLY COMMUNION
Lord Jesus, I love and adore you.
You’re a special friend to me.
Welcome, Lord Jesus, O welcome,
Thank you for coming to me.
Thank you, Lord Jesus O thank you
for giving yourself to me.
Make me strong to show your love
wherever I may be.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay
Close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all of us children in your loving care
and bring us to heaven to live with you there.
PAIDIR TARÉIS COMAOINEACH
A Thiarna Íosa, gráim agus adhraim thú.
Is tú mo chara dílis.
Fáilte romhat, a Thiarna Íosa.
Go raibh maith agat as teacht chugam.
Go raibh maith agat, a Thiarna Íosa,
as ucht tú fein a thabhairt dom.
Cabhraigh liom do ghrá a léiriú
cibé áit a mbím.
Bí taobh liom, a Thiarna Íosa,
fan in aice liom go deo.
Beannaigh sinn, na páistí atá faoi do chúram
agus tabhair ar neamh sinn chun cónaithe leat féin.
Táim reidh anois, a Thiarna Íosa,
tá grá agam go leor.
Taim reidh anois le do ghrá a thabhairt
sa bhaile is don saol mór. Áiméan.
‘In his tender mercy God has visited us; he has redeemed his people, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).
‘The Lord has received us into his own self, into his heart, remembering his mercy.’ (Magnificat antiphon).
‘The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.’ (Psalm 102:17).
‘Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world. Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of a charity which affects not only relationships between individuals but also “macro-relationships, social, economic and political ones” That is why the Church set before the world the ideal of a “civilization of love”’ (Laudato Si’, no. 231).
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Sr Anne Neylon