June 4, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Each June, the Church celebrates the Month of the Sacred Heart, honoring Jesus’ Heart through liturgy, prayers, devotions, and acts of consecration. The Sacred Heart draws us into God’s infinite love and urges us to manifest that love in our world. In today’s challenging times, marked by the ongoing effects of the pandemic, violence, individualism, and threats to our faith, such devotion becomes even more crucial. The Sacred Heart symbolizes steadfast, faithful, and life-giving love—a love that transcends fleeting emotions and sentimentality.

The symbolism surrounding the Sacred Heart is profound and meaningful. The flames that envelop the Heart symbolize the glorious brilliance of Jesus’ love, illuminating a world obscured by darkness and sin, and awaiting ignition through the fire of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, the crown of thorns encircling the bleeding and wounded Heart serves as a poignant reminder of Jesus’ Heart pierced on the Cross (John 19:34). It also recalls the encounter between doubting Thomas and the Risen Lord who invited him to touch His wounds (John 20:24-29). Furthermore, it evokes the triumphant image of the slain yet victorious Lamb of God (Revelation 5:6). These vivid depictions reinforce the notion that Jesus’ love is not merely an abstract concept, but a genuine and unwavering commitment, even in the face of suffering. They remind us, as baptized followers of Christ, of our mission to bring this extraordinary love into the world.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart became popularized when Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun, had a personal revelation between 1673 and 1675 involving a series of mystical visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. During her visions, the Lord revealed to her the mysteries of His Sacred Heart. Given our parish’s close association with St. Margaret Mary, it is fitting that we wholeheartedly foster this devotion. I earnestly recommend that you follow St. Margaret Mary’s example by dedicating time to silent adoration before the Eucharist, meditating on the Word of God, attending Holy Mass whenever possible, and displaying an image of the Sacred Heart in your home. Consider joining us for the solemn Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament held on the first Friday of every month, both in the morning and evening.

I am happy to announce that a Solemn Mass in Honor of the Sacred Heart will take place on Friday, June 16 at our church in the evening, followed by festivity in the parish hall.  We are honored to welcome back His Excellency Paul R. Sanchez, a cherished former pastor, who will preside over this special occasion. I am also grateful that the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart, a devout and dedicated group within our Hispanic community, will sponsor this special event. Stay tuned for further details in the days ahead.

Pope Francis urged all Catholics to look to the Sacred Heart as a source of love and to bring it to the whole world: “Today we begin the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, source of love and peace. Open yourselves to this love and take it ‘to the ends of the earth,’ witnessing to the goodness and mercy that flow from the Heart of Jesus” (General Audience, June 1, 2022). Let us stay close to the Heart of Jesus and be transformed into devoted Christians, ignited with passion to make known His mercy to the vulnerable, the isolated, the sick, the suffering, those who are marginalized or rejected.

Sincerely yours in the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

Msgr. Cuong M. Pham