Since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken. And again another passage says: They will look upon him whom they have pierced.
Introductory Prayer: Come Holy Spirit and fill my heart with love for you. Gentle Guest of My Soul, enlighten me so that I may truly understand Christ’s love for me. I am not worthy of this love, but I do implore your mercy.
Petition: God, grant me to better exercise charity towards those around me.
Behold the Heart That Loved Until Death: The crucifixion of Christ is the event that “expresses with stunning clarity how Jesus is a symbol of contradiction. In fact, people line up on two sides: those who adore him and those who mock him.… It is the most sublime school of love: in sorrow, Jesus forgives those who have made him suffer, responding to evil with good” (Pope Saint John Paul II, March 12, 1989). Today we contemplate that heart which loves us infinitely –– not only then but also now. Lord, thank you for your love. Teach me to reciprocate that love.
Look upon the Pierced One: As Christ was dying, the soldiers and rulers of the people mocked him as they were disappointed in their expectations. The people, on the other hand, looked on. Of the criminals crucified with him, one mocked him while the other one entrusted himself totally to his love and mercy. Each of us who looks upon the Pierced One looks upon him in a different way, but there will always be a choice to make: love him or mock him. Lord, I love you; help me grow in love for you.
Christ Raises the Bar: Just as Jesus surrenders himself to the Father’s will, so too, we must surrender ourselves if we want to show our gratitude. After contemplating Christ’s love, we cannot go on loving the same as before. Every day we need to grow in love and appreciation for what Christ has done for me. We were like birds caught in a trap, and now we are free. Freely we need to communicate this love to all mankind through prayer, words and our example. Ask Christ for the decision to do whatever it takes to communicate his love to those around you.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord, on this feast of your Sacred Heart, I see your love for all mankind. Grant me the grace to love a little more like you since you once told me, “love one another as I have loved you” (Cf. John 15:12). Without your grace I cannot do this. I beg you for the grace of growing in love.
Resolution: I will be patient with the members of my family.