The Sacred heart of Jesus - Jun 19 - Liturgy

God Loved Us First 

Greeting (See second reading)
 God loved us before we could love him. He sent us his Son as our Savior and let us share in his Holy Spirit. May this love always be with you. R/ And also be with you. 

When we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart or whenever we honor the Heart of Jesus, we celebrate the love of God that he showed us in his Son. On his own initiative, God, the source and origin of all genuine love, seeks us out and gives himself to us. Who are open to his love? Not the self-satisfied and the self-sufficient, for they don’t need God or people. They cannot accept love. But the weak and the humble can: they are aware of the poverty of their love; they know that they are vulnerable and fragile. God seeks our response of love. This answer must necessarily include that we show to those around us a bit of the warmth of God’s love. We should let people come to us as Christ let them come to him to lighten their burden. 

Penitential Act 
How much are we open to God’s love? How much are we willing to give love to others and receive it from them? Before celebrating this Eucharist let us ask these questions in the presence of God and of one another. (pause)
Lord, we are often so full of ourselves that we pay no attention to your love. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Christ, we somehow feel annoyed when people try to help us, for it reminds us that we are not self-sufficient. Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord, we often have no time for people because we have no time for you. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins against love, and bring us to everlasting life. R/ Amen. 

Opening Prayer
 Let us thank God our Father for the love he has shown us In the heart of his Son (pause) God with a heart, you have made your love visible in your Son, a man like us except for sin, and through him you have bound yourself to us by a bond of faithful love. Accept our thanks and help us to reflect a bit on your own love, that like you and Jesus we may not be afraid of showing affection and concern and of rendering generous service even if it is inconvenient to do so. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. 

First Reading: God’s Initiative of Love 
This is the basic truth: the initiative of love comes from God. His love is gratuitous and faithful. The people of God are called to give a grateful and free response of love to God. 

Second Reading: God Loved Us First 
John’s first letter echoes and deepens the Old Testament message: All love comes from God, for God is love. His love commits us to one another. If we do not love one another, God’s love cannot be in us 

Gospel: Only the Humble Are Open to the Humble Jesus  
Who understand and accept Jesus and his good news of love? Not the self-sufficient and the proud, who rely on their own achievements, but the humble, who are aware of the poverty of their own hearts. 

There is some gruesome detail here. In crucifixion a man dies primarily of asphyxiation. He breathes by pushing and pulling himself up painfully on raw wounds, but when he no longer has the strength to do this he can no longer breathe. Clearly, by breaking the legs of the two thieves, the soldiers were hastening their deaths in this way. When they found Jesus already dead they thrust a spear into his heart, just to make sure. From the beginning, Christians have seen a great deal of significance in this. For a start, it fulfilled the Scriptural prophecies, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.” But they saw a special significance in the blood and water that gushed from his side. The blood signified that the lamb had indeed been sacrificed, and the water signified the Spirit. Christian writers saw in this the two sacraments, Baptism and Eucharist. These two sacraments are basic to the life of the Church, which is born out of the side of Christ. Eve was born out of Adam’s side in the Genesis story. Here, the new Eve (the Church) is born out of the side of the new Adam, Christ. 

Let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ, to whose dedicated love there are no limits, and let us say: R/ Lord, keep us in your love. 
– Lord, we pray you for your Church. Let it be a community where people find one another and commit themselves to one another, we pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.
 – Lord, we pray you for all those whose task it is to proclaim your gospel. May they speak your word as good news of love and joy for all people, we pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.
 – Lord, we pray you for all those who are lonely and lack direction in life. May they encounter people who bring them light and love, we pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.
– Lord, we pray you for all those who have shut up themselves within walls of superiority, pride or hatred. Touch them with your Spirit of love, that they may become open again to people and learn again to appreciate, serve and love, we pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.
– Lord, we pray you for our families, that all those living under the same roof may share each other’s joys and sorrows, be patient with one another and live for one another, we pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love. 
Hear our prayer, Lord, and give us a heart for one another, that we may build community and live in your love, now and for ever. R/ Amen. 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Lord our God, your son Jesus gave himself totally for you and he gives himself now to us in this Eucharistic celebration. May we learn from him to help others carry their burdens and to bring out the best in them, and may our love be as faithful and gratuitous as his, that he may live among us now and for ever. 

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer 
It is a grace for us that we can join Jesus our Lord in gratitude to the Father for all God’s love. 

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer 
Let us pray to God our Father, the source and power of all love, in the words of Jesus our Lord: R/ Our Father… 

Deliver Us 
Deliver us Lord, from every evil and keep us free from sin by which we refuse to give you a response of grateful love. Give us the peace that comes from living in your friendship and help us to work steadily for the growth of your kingdom of love and justice, that we may prepare the full coming among us of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom…
Invitation to Communion 
This is Jesus the Lord, the Son of the living and loving God, who showed us how much God loves us. Through him we have come to believe that God is near to us. Happy are we to receive him. R/ Lord, I am not worthy… 

Prayer after Communion 
Lord our God, your love beat in a human heart when your Son lived among people and was one of us. Help us to become one with him and give us hearts as wise as his. And may we prefer, as he did, those who are loved least and therefore need it most, that we may bring to them a bit of your warmth and love in them him who is our Lord now and for ever. R/ Amen. 

As God loved us before we could love him, let our Christian living be a hymn of gratitude to his initiative of love.
Let us ask God to bless us and to fill the poverty of our love. May the God of love bless you all: the Father who is the source of love, the Son who lived love unto death, the Spirit who makes love perfect. R/ Amen. 

Let us go in peace to make God’s love visible in this world, that we may truly know and love God. R/ Thanks be to God.