At Home in the Heart of Jesus.

The Twenty-Second Friday of Ordinary Time; and, a Votive of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Lessons from the common,* according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• Ezekiel 34: 11-16.
• Psalm 23.
• Matthew 11: 25-30.

Lessons from the primary feria, according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• Colossians 1: 15-20.
• Psalm 100: 1-5.
• Luke 5: 33-39.

The Fourteenth Friday after Pentecost.

Lessons from the dominica,** according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• Galatians 5: 16-24.
• Psalm 117: 8-9.
• Matthew 6: 24-33.

The Fourteenth Friday after Pentecost; the Feast of the Holy Martyr Babylas, Bishop of Antioch; and, the Feast of the Holy Prophet Moses, Who Saw God.

First & third lessons from the pentecostarion, second & fourth from the menaion,*** according to the Ruthenian recension of the Byzantine Rite:

• Galatians 4: 8-21.
• Hebrews 11: 33-40.
• Mark 6: 45-53.
• Luke 12: 32-40.

8:11 AM 9/4/2015 — The parish where I grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, is named after St. Jane Frances de Chantel, who was, as you know, the founder of the Visitation Sisters, of which St. Margaret Mary was a distinguished member. The parish was founded in 1950; and, before the church had been built, the parish would gather in the chapel of the nearby Visitation Convent for Holy Mass; so, in gratitude, the parish was named after their founder. Before the sisters vacated and the convent was sold to the nearby National Institutes of Health, that convent was the oldest in North America; the sisters had been there since before the American Revolution; and, because the Visitation order is a traditional cloistered community, that convent and its chapel had not changed in over two hundred years. I served Mass in that chapel many times, and was always struck by the magnificent painting over the altar depicting St. Margaret Mary receiving the last of the apparitions she recieved of our Lord in the manifestation of His Most Sacred Heart. That image stuck with me, and I'm sure had a lot to do with my decision to become a priest. That's the reason there's an image of the Sacred Heart in my confessional.
     Many years later, after I had been a priest for a few years, five of us, all priests, decided to make a pilgrimage to various holy sites in France. One of these was Paray La Monial, where St. Margaret Mary received her visions. It's an extremely busy place, more so than any other pilgrimage site we had visited.
     There is something about the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus which attracts us, and the Gospel lesson for this Votive Mass of the Most Sacred Heart captures it perfectly: “Come to me, all you that labour and are burdened; I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon yourselves, and learn from me; I am gentle and humble of heart; and you shall find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11: 28, 29 Knox).
     Sometimes, in our struggle to live the Gospel and maintain our spiritual equilibrium in this often hectic and less than spiritual world, we find ourselves spiritually exhausted from the fight. It's in those moments that we need to rely on our Lord's promise, to take a step back from the fight once in a while and repose in the shelter of our Lord's most adorable Heart.
     And as this Mass today brings back to my mind that wonderful trip I took with other young priests, I would ask you to do me the favor of remembering in this Mass all priests, that when they find themselves burdened from their labors, they may find the rest they need in our Lord's Most Sacred Heart.
     At the conclusion of today's Mass, we will expose the Blessed Sacrament, pray together the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart, then observe a quite Holy Hour, with Benediction at 1:30.

* In both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite, a votive Mass may be offered on any feria outside a privileged season, but may not displace a memorial or feast of the third class (it may displace a memorial which is optional). The lessons for such a Mass may be taken from the current feria or from the common appropriate for that particular votive. Today's Mass used a selection of lessons from the common provided for Masses of the Sacred Heart; the lessons for the feria are listed for reference.

** In the extraordinary form, on ferias outside of privileged seasons, the lessons from the preceding Sunday are repeated.

*** The first & third lessons are for the feria, the others for the Martyr; there are no lessons for the Prophet.