A heart of love
June 08, 2018 Friday, Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
1st Reading: Hos 11:1,3-4, 8-9Second Reading: Eph 3:8-12, 14-19
Gospel: John 19:31-37
As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day.They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so they might take away the bodies.
The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead; so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water.
The one who has seen here gives his witness so that you may believe: his witness is true and He knows that he speaks the truth. All this happened to fulfill the words of Scripture, Not one of his bones shall be broken. Another text says: They shall look on him whom they have pierced.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The declaration of the Sacred Heart Parish Church in Cebu City as Archdiocesan Shrine is one great enrichment to our annual celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is because the declaration has something to do with indulgence, and indulgence is at the heart of the celebration of any feast related to Jesus’ heart.
To understand the benefits we can derive from plenary indulgence let us revisit the effects of sin. Forgiveness is one thing while restitution for the damage caused by sin is another. If I break a glass window of a neighbor, for example, my neighbor may forgive me. Yet I’d still answerable for the broken window. Something similar happens in our relationship with God. When we offend him we go to confession to obtain his forgiveness. But the forgiveness we get does not restore the damage resulting from our sinning.
There are three ways we can comply with the restitution requirement. The first is paying for the damages in this lifetime, the second is by undergoing a period of cleansing in purgatory, and the third is by indulgence. When the indulgence is plenary the Church, which is the guardian of the treasury of merits of “all men of goodwill”, takes care of the damages. This frees the penitents from the responsibility of restitution.
Those who will participate in the fiesta activities of the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Cebu City will gain plenary indulgence provided they comply with the requirements laid down by the Archdiocese. How nice and fitting that we should receive this gift of indulgence from the Sacred Heart of Jesus himself who is the source of mercy and compassion. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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