This year the Novena to the Sacred Heart will run from Thursday 31 May to Friday 8 June 2018. Charlie Davy SJ has put together the Novena which is published in the June Messenger magazine and on leaflets from the Messenger Publications.
The theme this year is the call and invitation of Jesus to come to know, love and follow him in our Christian lives. Fr Davy says: “Real prayer is always to be understood as a personal meeting with our risen Lord, who invites us to enter into a loving relationship with him. In our own words we speak to him from our hearts, communicating whatever thoughts come to mind from the gospel quotations and reflections.”
The scripture, reflection and prayer for each day are clearly laid out and enable the participant to delve deeper into the heart of Jesus. Day one, for example, focuses on servant leadership with a humble heart. We hear Jesus say: “Anyone who wants to be first among you must be your servant”. And we are challenged to ponder that leadership and authority are a service, not an ego trip. We pray for the grace of even-handedness to all who have authority, and we ask for forgiveness for the times we were heavy handed when dealing with those in our care.
On day four, we look to the call of the first disciples when Peter and Andrew responded immediately, leaving their nets behind and following Jesus. Fr Davy reflects: “They were ordinary weak individuals to whom Jesus made a promise. ‘I will make you fishers of people.’ With his grace they followed him to martyrdom.”
We ponder on day eight when Jesus said on the cross in the presence of Mary and the disciple he loved: “Woman, this is your son”; and to the disciple: “This is your mother”. We thank Jesus for the gift of his mother as our mother. We also pray in spite of our weakness for help to walk again and again in his ways.
The closing prayer each day reminds us that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is always open in love to each of us, especially when we are suffering. And we are invited to bring our own special intention or special concern to the Novena.
People can follow the daily scripture, reflection, and prayer on their own or with their parish. You can find the Novena in the free pull-out section of June’s Messenger magazine or you can contact the Messenger Publications for information on the leaflets at 01 775 8522 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.