Luke 15:3-7; Romans 5:5-11; Ps 23 The Lord is my Shepherd there is nothing I shall want; Ezekiel 34:11-16
Here are a few words from Pope Francis on today's feast of the Sacred Heart of JEsus
"Let Him draw close to us and feel Him close to us. This is really very difficult: letting ourselves be loved by Him. And that is perhaps what we need to ask today in the Mass: ‘Lord, I want to love You, but teach me the difficult science, the difficult habit of let ting myself be loved by You, to feel You close and feel Your tenderness ! May the Lord give us this grace...The Lord loves us in these two ways, He draws near and gives all His love even in the smallest things: with tenderness. And this is a powerful love, because closeness and tenderness reveal the strength of God’s love."
Now I want you to think about Red Tape. This phrase is often used to describe the government and government programs. People will say that there are a lot of red tape one has to go through in order to get their benefits, their rewards, their payment or even just to be heard.
This Red Tape is what we consider excessive regulation and rigid conformity to rules in order for the bureaucratic approval to be given.
Sometimes, we treat God this way. We put red tape on God's love, God's closeness and God's tenderness. We limit or try to excessively regulate God's personal invitation to others and even to ourselves.
How often do we create distance between ourselves and the so called "lost" rather than imitating Christ who int he gospel leaves the 99 and goes after the one who has strayed.
Who is the strayed on in our life? Who is the lost? Who is the one we choose to pull out the red tape on and become bureaucratic with our love so unlike the Sacred Heart of Christ.
Hear again the words of St. Paul, "God proves his love for us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." Think about that little word, "still." While we were still sinners.
God didn't wait for us to right the ship, to say we were sorry, to get our act together before he showed his great love for us. No.
There is no excessive regulation on his part, just a gift.
In fact, Jesus began to appear to St. Margaret Alacoque in the 17th century to insist on a greater devotion to his Sacred Heart for the simple reason of making up for the ingratitude that was showed for his sacrifice.
Most red tape is because we are not grateful enough. How are we bureaucratic in our love? How can we be more like the heart of Christ?