The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is the synthesis of the mystery of Redemption. Redemption is a mystery of love. In the second reading Paul tells us that “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us … while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son.” Though sinners—or rather exactly because sinners—God showed us his love by not sparing his own Son, by handing him over for us (Rom 8:32). He sent him into the world; he willed him to become man; he let him to be killed by men, so that they could be saved by him. And his Son accepted this mission; his will was the same as his Father’s will; his love was the same as his Father’s love; that divine love became a human love. Jesus loved us with a human heart. He showed his love for us, dying for us: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). While we were enemies, he considered us his friends, and died for us.
Today’s liturgy depicts the mystery of Redemption through the image of a shepherd. Even in the Old Testament God presented himself as a shepherd and promised: “The lost [sheep] I will seek, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal.” It is precisely what he did, coming into the world and becoming man. He left heaven, going after man, his lost sheep, until he found it. But, to find it, he had to undergo passion and death: it was the price to deliver his sheep from the thorn bush where it had remained trapped. But with his resurrection he was able to put his sheep on his own shoulders and to go back home with great joy.
Well, the love which urged God to hand his Son over for us; the love which allowed Jesus to accept his mission and to die for us; that same love “has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Do you realize? The same love that was in the Heart of Jesus, now is in our hearts. We can love as Jesus loved, with his divine love. So, since we can, let us requite this infinite love with which we have been loved.