My brothers and sisters in Christ,1
We continue this “Holy Week at home,” and we gather together once again through the internet to enter into our Lord’s passion and death on the cross.
I hope that many of you were able to join us earlier today for the national moment of prayer, in which we prayed the Litany of the Sacred Heart for an end to this scourge of the coronavirus.
And I think that in God’s providence, in this time of trial, he is calling us to deepen our faith, to come to a new understanding of the mystery and message of the redemption that he offers us in Jesus Christ.
This is Holy Week is hard for all of us. We are in solidarity in the spirit, but during these days, we feel the physical distance, we miss the human contact, the warmth of being together. It is hard for me to be separated from all of you, and I know that it is hard for you to be separated from your parishes and in many cases from your loved ones.
And I think our Lord, in his Providence, is allowing us to experience of the cross in this Holy Week. He is allowing us to enter into the isolation, the suffering of his passion and death.
In the long Gospel passage that we just heard, we are witnesses to the saddest day, to the day when Jesus dies on the cross, the victim of cruelty and injustice that we cannot imagine.
There is one last act of hatred, as Jesus hangs dead on the cross, the soldier stabs him the side with his lance. And something remarkable happens, from the Body of Christ, from his open heart “immediately blood and water flowed out.”
My brothers and sisters, in the heart of Christ — wounded by the soldier’s spear, pierced by our sins — we see how much God loves the world. We see how precious we are in our Father’s eyes.
Out of his heart flowed blood and water — blood that redeems us from sin and death; water that washes away our shame and makes all things new.
From his open heart, the Church is born. In the living waters of Baptism and the Precious Blood of the Eucharist, in the love that is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirt.2
And of course, many of us, I know, are lonely and afraid for the future. It is hard to go through this long passion that we are going through with the coronavirus.
We are worried, and we wonder, how long this will last. In the presence of Jesus on the cross, we need to ask for the gifts of patience and perseverance!
But my dear brothers and sisters, never doubt the love of God. Never give up! He has a future for us and a hope. We cannot fall back into fear.
As I said this morning, Let’s pray often to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Jesus, I trust in you! ¡Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, en ti confío!
Jesus’ heart is still open to us. He opens his heart to you, to me — to us. So let us give our heart to him.
Let us join our sufferings to the heart of Jesus, open for us on the cross. Let us offer our sacrifices out of love for our brothers and sisters. Let us take care of one another, forgive one another.
Yes we know, in this time of trial, that we cannot do it ourselves. We need a Savior, we need Jesus!
So today, let us ask for the grace to enter into the mysteries of Good Friday and Holy Saturday and Easter — in humility, recognizing our weakness, our unworthiness.
And let us ask for the grace to accompany our Blessed Mother Mary in her sorrows today.
In her blessed womb, beneath her heart, the human heart of Jesus first began to beat. Let us ask her intercession today, that might make us meek and humble of heart, like Jesus.
And may she help us to carry our cross with Jesus today — as we prepare our hearts to receive him in joy of Easter morning.
Jesus, I trust in you! ¡Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, en ti confío!