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Celebrating the feasts of summer

Celebrating the feasts of summer

This month, we are going to do a bit of a different reflection. June is so rich with tremendous feasts: Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ) on June 6; the Feast of the Sacred Heart (June 11); and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 12).

I want to focus on these three feasts because I so often hear people say that they do not know God’s personal love for them; they do not believe their sins are forgiven; they experience being isolated or alone, on the outside in so many ways.

Moment for reflection: Do you think your sin is too great to be forgiven? Do you have thoughts that isolate you or make you think you’re the low man or woman on the proverbial totem pole? Do you harbor resentment or desire for revenge? Thoughts like these are lies of the devil, seeking to rob you of trust, of confidence in God’s love and forgiveness.

The feasts this month are gifts from God – antidotes to the lies that cripple and destroy. What I would like you to do this month is to reflect on these three feasts and the attached Scriptures and see where you need to open your heart and mind more fully to the love God has for you.

Pope Urban IV told us in a very succinct statement that “Eating wounded us (the apple) and eating healed us (the Eucharist).” God so loved you that he chose to remain with you by giving you his own body and blood to nourish you. Celebrate this love on the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ).

Moment for reflection: Read John 6:22-71. Read also Luke 24:13-35. Ask God for the grace to understand how loved you really are. May this feast mark the beginning of a deeper faith. May praise and thanksgiving rise from your heart.

On Friday, June 11, the church celebrates the great Feast of the Sacred Heart. Our Lord appeared many years ago to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in France. He revealed himself with his heart like a burning furnace of love. He said to her, “Behold this heart which has so loved men and is so little loved in return.”

God did not say he had done everything (though he had) when he died upon the cross for us, when he gave us as food his own body and blood, but he continues to reveal his love through his saints, pleading for us to believe.

Moment for reflection: Do you believe in the personal love that God has for you? Read John 15:7-11; John 17:20-26, especially verses 23, 26. Also, read Romans 8:35-39.

Remember, too, in God’s great love, God forgives and forgets! When we confess our sins in the sacrament of reconciliation and are truly repentant, God forgets. Don’t continue to carry the load of guilt and fear and regret. God’s love enables you to walk in “newness of life.” Receive it.

The third feast is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. All of us need a mother. God has given us his own mother. Remember the words at the foot of the cross. He said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then he said to his disciple, “Behold your mother.” When Christ gave John his mother, he was giving her to us, to walk with us, to help us on the journey back to him (See John 19:25-27.)

May we entrust ourselves more and more to Mary, who will inevitably lead us deeper and deeper into the heart of God. May you open your heart this month more and more to the personal love of God for you.