Cdardinal Stella at the Serra Club International: The feast of God’s love, of Jesus Christ…a feast we celebrate with joy

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S. Em. Card. Beniamino Stella

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which we celebrate today, has been described by Pope Francis as “the feast of God’s love, of Jesus Christ…a feast we celebrate with joy” (Francis, Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 27 June 2014).

Coming here to Rome for your International Convention, gives you the opportunity to pause and to contemplate the beauty of Father’s love that flows from the Heart of Christ, touches us intimately, transforms us and then sends us out to anoint the world with the joy of the Gospel.

I would like to reflect with you on the beauty of the Heart of Jesus, listening to the invitation he makes to us: to be joyous, to be creative, to be consolation for others.

The Heart of Jesus, where the love of God for mankind burns without ever being extinguished, invites us above all to joy. In today’s Gospel, we see that Jesus rejoices, exults in spirit and addresses the Father with a prayer of praise, because the mystery of the Kingdom has been heard and welcomed by the little ones. Jesus rejoices because, be it even as small as a mustard seed, he sees that the mission for which he was sent into the world is being fulfilled: that everyone, even those who have been excluded until now or who hadn’t the means to understand, can know the Father’s love, can be touched by it and healed. No one is kept at a distance or excluded from the Heart of God: it for this that Jesus rejoices.

This is also the cause of our joy: to know that God’s Heart does not hesitate before our weakness but that instead, as Pope Francis reminds us, it is precisely when we experience failure, darkness and limitations that “the needle of his compass inevitably points, there we see a particular ‘weakness’ of his love, which desires to embrace all and lose none” (Francis, Jubilee of Priests, 3 June 2016).