What is the relationship between devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Divine Mercy?
Remember the ten lepers who, according to Luke’s Gospel, meet Jesus and cry out: “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” (Luke 17:13). These men, rejected by all, sick, desperate, cry out the name of Jesus, “Yeshu’a “, which means “God saves”. This cry is also a prayer, which the Christian East calls “the Jesus prayer”, and which must be repeated indefinitely: “Jesus, have mercy on us” “Kyrie Eleison”, so that our hearts may be filled with His presence.
Jesus, faced with their appeal, following the Law of Moses (Book of Leviticus), asks them to go and see the priests so that they can see their healing. Imagine these unfortunate lepers, not yet healed, setting out on their journey, trusting only in His word. The story tells us that on the way they were cleansed. They experience the mercy of God, the Divine Mercy.
One of them, seeing that he is healed, instead of continuing on his way and returning home, he turns back to prostrate himself deeply at the feet of Jesus and give glory to God. This man, this stranger, whom everyone rejects, who has experienced God’s mercy, has recognised the source of that mercy, the Heart of Jesus. All were healed, but he alone, who recognised the source of the Heart of Jesus and came to prostrate himself and give thanks to God, is save: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17:19)
Frédéric Fornos SJ
Picture : Saint Claude La Colombière SJ