From the Pastor's Desk

Fr. LeRoy Scheierl
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Week of June 18, 2017

June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Solemnity

of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is always the Friday after the Feast of the

Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). (This year we celebrate it on

Friday June 23rd ) The Feast of the Sacred Heart dates back to Pope

Clement XIII in 1765 when he approved it for use in dioceses. It was later

extended for the Universal Church by Pope IX in 1856. Pope Leo XIII

then wrote an encyclical letter in 1899 “Annum Sacrum” dedicating the

whole Catholic world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. So, we see the

Sacred Heart has a real place in our Catholic Tradition.

The concept of the Sacred Heart of Jesus also has strong biblical

roots as well! Often we hear from our gospel writers or from Jesus

himself how his “heart was moved with pity” or how his “heart was

sorrowful even unto death.” Jesus once invited his disciples to share their

yoke (burdens) with him for he is “meek and humble of heart” (Mt.

11,29). We hear how Jesus wept over ancient Jerusalem for its lack of

faith. And finally, at his crucifixion, we know Jesus was pierced by a

lance in his side and what flowed out was blood and water, symbols of

Baptism and Eucharist. There are many other biblical quotes and scenes

where we know the heart of Jesus was at work.

This said, the Feast of the Sacred Heart is really a beautiful reminder

that Jesus, although He is the Son of God, “the Word made Flesh”, the

“Man-God,” He also had a human heart much like us. Jesus had all the

feelings a real heart can bring, a great capacity for compassion and love,

a heart that rejoices with others and yet a heart that can feel alone,

abandoned, and hurt. There is probably nothing you or I have

experienced in our heart that Jesus has not also experienced in his heart

as well. This should encourage us and inspire us to have a “heart to

heart” talk with God! That’s the mystery and wonder of Christianity that

no other religion has!

I am fortunate enough to have a round stained-glass window of the

Sacred Heart of Jesus mounted at the peak of the ceiling in the living

room of my log cabin. It was a long lost item from the old, torn-down

church in Paynesville, Minnesota where I grew up and it was miraculously

found. How my father was able to get it in his hands and finally passed

down to me is a great story, and I am convinced this had a huge part to

play in God’s grace and work in my life and in my becoming a

priest. Stay tuned next week and I’ll tell you most of it! It is a remarkable

tale in my mind.

Words to Live by: “Sometimes Jesus calms the storm.

Sometimes he lets the storm rage and he calms the child.”

Fr. LeRoy Scheierl

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