Luke 11: 37-41
While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) was born into a peasant family of Paray-le-Monial, France. She entered the Visitation convent there at age 20. Soon afterwards she began to experience visions of Christ who over time assured her that she was His chosen instrument to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart. These devotions included the holy hour and observance of the Nine First Fridays. She received the support of St. Claude la Colombiere, S.J. who for a time was confessor for the Visitation sisters. He confirmed that Margaret Mary’s visions were genuine. The convent first observed the feast of the Sacred Heart in 1686. Devotion to the Sacred Heart was officially recognized by Pope Clement XIII in 1765.
Over the course of her visions St. Margaret Mary received 12 promises from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These promises form the core of this devotion. On her feast day, it is good for us to pray over them.
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who spread this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
12. I promise in the mercy of My Heart, that all those who receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months will receive the grace of final repentance. My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, you are the center of all life. Everything in this world points to you and leads us to you. Today we ask for the grace to keep you at the center of our life, to use you as the reference point of all our thoughts, words, and actions. Help us to minimize our concern about “How it looks to others” and instead to put you at the center of our attention. In serving you, we hope to give our best self to all whom we encounter this day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team