Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke recently reflected in a homily on God’s unconditional, faithful and enduring love for each of us, evident in the piercing of Jesus’ most sacred heart.
The homily was given at the Opening Mass of Family Life International NZ’s Living the Splendour of Truth Pro-life, Pro-family Conference held at the beginning of October in Auckland.
In the homily, given on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cardinal Burke noted that it was “out of faithful and enduring love of us, God the Son himself has come to shepherd us, to rescue us from our sins and to provide for us an earthly home in the Church, and our lasting home with him in the heavenly Jerusalem.”
Speaking of the “beautiful sign of God’s love,” he explained that “a response of love in return” is required.
In His unconditional love our “own condition of selfishness and sin” is made evident. “Before the most Sacred Heart of Jesus we can not boast of our own importance that God the Son incarnate would pour out the very last ounce of his life to save us from sin and death, to win for us eternal life in union with him forever in the Kingdom of Heaven” stated His Eminence.
“No, when we look upon him whom we have pierced, we recognise immediately, how unworthy of God’s love we are because of our sins and we are led to love God in return, repenting of our sins, making daily reparation for them, and striving to place our own hearts ever more deeply into the Divine Heart…”
“…The merciful love of God for us is not some blind or anonymous gift. It is an invitation to live in communion with Him forever. Living in communion with Him means unconditional love of our neighbour, especially the neighbour in most need…”
“…Our love of our Lord Jesus, expressed in devotion to his most Sacred Heart is not some static feeling or state, it is rather a relationship with God the Son incarnate, in which we, with his immaculate mother, take up with him the mission given to him by the Father, so that all men may be saved and that our world may be prepared to welcome him at his coming on the last day.”
An expression of this communion with God can be found in “the faithful, life-long procreative love of husband and wife in marriage and its fruit of the family” explained Cardinal Burke.
Making reference to Our Lady, he related how she “inspires us, and accompanies us in remaining faithful and generous in our covenant of love with God.”
“Mary draws us with maternal love to her immaculate heart under which God the Son took a human heart. She leads us to place our hearts, with her Immaculate Heart, totally into His Sacred Heart. She guides us to trust in God’s never failing mercy, to trust as she trusted that God’s promises to us will be fulfilled.”
Cardinal Burke concluded his homily by invoking the intercession of Mary Immaculate asking her to “guide us and protect us always, drawing us unceasingly to make our hearts like her heart one with the Eucharistic heart of Jesus. So we may grow in an ever deeper love of Our Lord and an ever pure and more selfless service of Him and of our neighbour, especially our neighbour who is in most need.”
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke was in New Zealand at the beginning of October for Family Life International NZ’s international pro-life, pro-family conference entitled “Living the Splendour of Truth”. His Eminence was the principle celebrant at both the Opening and Closing Masses of the conference and presented a number of talks over the weekend.