Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Jun 14, 2020 | Gospel Reflections

Matthew 11: 25-30

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Esther Adama, SNDdeN


The heart is the center of both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities. It is sometimes difficult to access it and when one is able to gain access to it, this becomes a tremendous achievement. God alone has access to the heart because he alone knows human hearts. The emotional state of the heart affects the rest of a person: when a heart is happy and at peace, cheerfulness flows out (Prov. 15:13). The heart of Jesus is immensely full of love for God’s creatures. His heart is that whose love cannot be measured by human standards. It is the feast of this Holy Heart or Sacred Heart that the holy Mother Church commemorates today – a feast of God’s unconditional love for humanity as described in Jn. 3:16. The Sacred Heart of Jesus expresses to us the nature of God’s love for the world and the extent to which God can go to liberate and bring back those who had been disconnected or distracted from the original love to God.

This is a feast that calls us to reflect and glory in the wonderful heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. It calls us to constantly remember how much we are loved by God despite our sinfulness. The human heart cannot quantify or comprehend the kind of love God has for us. Yet Jesus on this day wants us to reflect on what is contained in his Holy Heart, and work to make it ours in our relationship with God, neighbors and our environment.

In order to discover the heart of Jesus we can look at His kind of person and approach to life. During Jesus’ ministry on earth he loved all, he was gentle, meek, compassionate, and included all, even the lost sheep of Israel. Jesus is God who called and chose us out of many nations. He promised to remain faithful, and has kept his covenant with us despite our frequent infidelity to His commands of love. His love for us is beyond compare nor can it be fully fathomed by the human heart. Why is this so? It is because the design of God’s heart from age to age is made that way to rescue us from destruction and keep us alive in time of distress and famine. This was the whole mission of the second person of the Blessed Trinity to preserve God’s chosen people from harm.

One may wonder about the presence of evil and suffering in our world, as we proclaim God as sending Jesus to liberate humanity. Of course, the problem of suffering and evil has always been there and we cannot remove it totally from our world as humans but we can embrace or imbibe the attitude, mind and heart of Jesus Christ found in the beatitudes, and use them in our daily activities. We can decide to reflect daily on how Jesus reacts to painful situations. He did not run away from sufferings, pains and challenges, but faced them courageously laying down examples for his chosen ones to emulate.

During this current COVID 19 pandemic, many lives have been lost; many lives are still being lost or will be lost, hence fear and confusion in the world. Our world is in a standstill as frustration grips everyone from families to all religious and secular leaders. All efforts towards combating this epidemic seem to be proving impossible. Many are beginning to ask “Where is God?” God however is not distant from these experiences and the predicament our world is facing. God fills us with His love and presence during this period in our history. There is a lot hidden from us and if God should make it known, we would become frightened. Have we ever wondered how many times we might have come across persons with a deadly infection or even COVID 19 virus and never got infected? Or how many times God has saved us individually from dangers? Our current world of technology has made sometime people become distant from God, humans and other creatures. Humans are more and more becoming super gods in their little corners and have forgotten the unmoved mover. This may be another opportunity to draw closer to God in greater devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as St. Julie Billiart did even before it was introduced by Pope Pius IX in 1856 as an official feast in the Church’s calendar. Through her devotion to the Sacred Heart, she was cured after 22 years of paralysis. Let us call on her to intercede for our world now more than ever.

This solemnity calls everyone to seek the face of God earnestly, reflect on God’s love for us as exemplified in the person of Jesus Christ and practice them in our relationship with our families, neighbors and other creatures. St. Julie wants us to have the heart and mind of our Mother Mary which is united with that of Jesus Christ by asking her to teach us how to know, and be close to Her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus allowed his Sacred Heart to be pierced so that it remains always wide open for everyone to enter in. Let us therefore place all our worries, burden and anxieties in Christ’s Heart; as He invites us to come to Him all who labor and are heavily laden and take our rest. In Christ who is lowly and gentle of Heart we may rest assured that our burdens will be lightened (Mat.t 11:29-30). Come to Him! Come to Him!! Come to Him!!!


Matthew 11: 25-30


At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

The word of the Lord


Meet Sister Esther Adama, SNDdeN


Her desire and inspiration to become a religious started as far back as 1988. This burning desire prompted her to embark on teaching catechism to children both in the main parish and the out-stations of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Kagara, Niger State. The parish priest, Fr. Oliver O’Reilly, inquired about her future ambitions. She said that she would love to work for God through service to the poor, as a Sister. When her parents learned about her desire, they were not pleased. In response to God’s call, she joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on January 7th 1995. After her postulancy and Novitiate program, Sr. Esther made her first profession on November 15,1997 in Kulende, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. Her first mission was to Uzairue, Edo State to teach at St. Philip’s N/P School. In 1998, she gained admission to the Federal College of Education, Kontagora and graduated with her N.C.E qualification in 2001. Then, she was missioned to practice her field at St. Peter’s N/P school Ndeabor, Enugu State. On June 4, 2002, Sr. Esther was sent to the United States to study in a theological and formation programme at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL. On her return to Nigeria, she worked as Assistant Novice Directress for about two years in Ilorin, Kwara State. Later, she went for her Tertianship in preparation for final vows which she made on September 17, 2005. Afterwards, Sr. Esther was asked to work as Postulant Directress at the SND Postulate in Nigeria for six years. On completion of this assignment she was sent on further studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa where she obtained a Masters Degree in Sacred Liturgy respectively. Sr. Esther was assigned to teach in the SND Novitiate house and also involve in part-time teaching in the Postulate house in Nigeria. At a diocesan level Sr. Esther worked both Notre Dame and Diocesan representative for the inauguration of the New Evangelization Commission in Ilorin Diocese. She is to resume a new mission assignment as Postulant Directress at the SND Postulate in Kenyan Province. With openness and generosity, Sr. Esther says that the journey so far has not been easy, but it has been interesting and challenging. She comes from a typical Muslim background where embracing religious life is regarded as counter cultural. She attributes all: to God be the glory. She prays that our God who began this work in her will bring it to perfection.