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Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

Homily by Archbishop Wenski on the Mass for the Consecration of the City of Miami

Archbishop Thomas Wenski says the prayer of consecration, entrusting the citizens of Miami to the protection of the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Archbishop Thomas Wenski says the prayer of consecration, entrusting the citizens of Miami to the protection of the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Homily by Archbishop Thomas Wenski on the Mass for the Consecration of the City of Miami to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. St. Mary Cathedral Thursday, May 30, 2013. See story here.


I welcome to this Mass his honor, Mayor Tomas Regalado, Mayor of Miami.  In his capacity as mayor of our beautiful City, he will join me in offering the prayer consecrating this city and all who live within its boundaries to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.  I also welcome those who have help promoted this event, an event that is like similar acts of consecration that have taken place in our cities and communities throughout the hemisphere. Our Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI in his encyclical, Spe Salvi, observed that a “world without God is a world without hope”.  And, with the ascendant secularism of our time many believe that one can organize society or live their lives “etsi Deus non daretur” – as if God doesn’t matter. This ascendant secularism that is increasing taking on radical forms, forms that undermine religious liberty and forms are changing the way people understand reality – as we see in attempts to redefine marriage.


Today’s act of consecration brings together citizens to pray for their city – that we do so is a particular expression of our rights guaranteed by the first amendment of our nation’s constitution.  Praying for our city, praying not for any partisan advantage or cause but for the common good is certainly an expression of civic responsibility on the part of those who do believe that God does matter.  But, as the same time, today’s consecration is, for us Catholics, an opportunity to renew and deepen our baptismal consecration as a response to the love of Jesus and his mother, Mary, for us.


The icon of the two hearts of Jesus and Mary sits on the altar of St. Mary Cathedral during the Mass of consecration.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

The icon of the two hearts of Jesus and Mary sits on the altar of St. Mary Cathedral during the Mass of consecration.

The Heart of Jesus was pierced with a soldier’s lance at the crucifixion; at the same time, Mary’s heart was pierced by a sword of sorrows.  In the Immaculate Heart of His Mother, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is mirrored.  The human heart both in Scripture and in literature represents the personal center of an individual; the heart symbolizes love.  In consecrating our city to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, we wish to acknowledge their love – a love through which Jesus and Mary want to lead us to a selfless love of God and neighbor.  It is through such selfless love that we can become good citizens both of the City of Man and the City of God – for it is through selfless love that we grow in the holiness to which we have been called as human beings created in the image and likeness of God who is love.


The City of Miami is a young city – scarcely more than a century old.  This is a city that has grown and prospered because of successive waves of immigration. Sometimes I like to joke that the best thing about Miami is that it is so close to the United States. Almost everybody is from someplace else – some have come as transplants from northern States, others have come here uprooted from their native countries because of exile or persecution or because here there are available opportunities not found in our countries of origin.  We have come looking for freedom, for economic opportunity, we have come looking for a new life.  We are African American, white, Asian and Hispanic.  We hail from Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Jamaica – and every nation of the globe.  (Please forgive me if I didn’t mention your country of origin – but I don’t want to make this homily too long.)


In fact, we could say that the forces of globalization have conspired in one way or another to throw us together as neighbors.  Certainly this globalization which is affecting everybody in every corner of the world is what has made Miami the City of the Future.  What we have experienced in recent decades – what we are still experiencing in terms of human mobility and rapid change is what the rest of the world will experience, if it hasn’t already.


Yes, globalization has made us neighbors – but it hasn’t necessarily made us brothers and sisters. And this explains why we would come to this beautiful cathedral on a Thursday evening to consecrate our city to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


As I said, in doing so, we acknowledge their love for us – a love which Providence has shown us in so many ways.  But in acknowledging their love for us represented by their pierced hearts we wish to renew our hearts – so that we might think, speak, work and love as they do.


Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!  Following the example of your love, may we whom destiny has placed together in the great city as neighbors learn to live together in harmony, in justice, in peace; may we learn to live together as brothers and sisters.  Amen.

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