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First Friday reflections

Through the centuries, the Christian community has consistently tried to capture its developing understanding of Jesus Christ in word and image. This is a never ending challenge – to portray the Mystery of the love of God made visible in the man, Jesus of Nazareth, who went about doing good and eventually laid down his life for us. Each First Friday of the month, the Society of the Sacred Heart sends an email prepared by an RSCJ, colleague or friend of the Society, with a reflection on the meaning of the Sacred Heart in our lives today. To sign up to receive the First Friday emails, Sign up for e-news here or at the bottom of any page on this site.

During our bicentennial celebration between 2017 and 2018, First Friday emails suspended in place of our Year of Prayer weekly reflections. Click here to access the entire Year of Prayer

First Friday Reflection, July 2014

It's July and we're back to Ordinary Time—the long stretch of the liturgical year before Advent. 

June was extraordinary with Pentecost, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, graduations, weddings, vacations and more. After all that celebrating perhaps now we have a bit more time for quiet reflection. Yet this time is also full. It is full with Jesus' last words about sending His Spirit of truth to guide us as we continue learning to love well. 

First Friday Reflection, May 2014

I recently saw this detail of Pamela Hardesty’s work, “Sacred Heart.” I was drawn to it immediately, powerfully, and viscerally. I sent it to a friend who collects images of the Sacred Heart, believing it would be a precious addition to a growing collection. Her response: “I don’t get it! What is it you find so compelling?!”

Frankly, I wasn’t sure! A question posed once to a famous dancer mirrors my own perplexity.  She was asked: “What are you trying to say when you dance?” Her response: “If I knew, I wouldn’t dance!”

First Friday Reflection, April 2014

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
John 13:1

This bas relief is called simply “Costado,” Spanish for “Side,” though we might see in it an image of the Pierced Heart of Jesus.  It shows the tenderness and compassion of the Crucified One who, despite his mental anguish and his physical suffering, is the one who is reaching out and seeking to console, in the most intimate way imaginable.  The image speaks of a flow of love between Jesus and the woman as their eyes lock and their hearts ache.

First Friday Reflection, October 2013

When first visiting Santa Maria del Trastevere in Rome my eye was immediately drawn to mosaics above the altar depicting the life of Mary, Mother of God. A new discovery held me captive, the image of the Dormition of Mary (or the Death of Mary.) As I gazed at the image of Mary’s soul being held in the arms of the Risen Jesus, I saw a new image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Risen Jesus was holding Mary in a maternal pose usually associated with depictions of Mary as Madonna holding the infant Jesus.