The Society of Jesus and the Heart of Christ

A text of Fr General adapted from his homily on the Feast of the Sacred Heart 2024

The Society of Jesus cannot exist if its heart is not in tune with the heart of Jesus. We are a human group “with a heart”, that is, sensitive, capable of being moved and shaken by different winds. We are a body called to discern our innermost feelings and to follow the Holy Spirit who moves us through them. To keep the heart of the Society in tune with the Heart of Jesus is the priority that grounds and nourishes our life-mission.

[…] Through the heart of Jesus, the true and unique face of God is revealed to us, the loving God who is all tenderness. We experience him in his infinite mercy towards human beings.

The heart of Jesus is a heart pierced by the lance of the soldier, instrument of the earthly powers that have tried, and continue to try, to distort the loving, tender and merciful face of God, creator of all life. […]

To renew the consecration of the body of the Society to the heart of Jesus means to place ourselves on our knees before the Father. […] It is to open the heart of this universal body of the Society so that God the Father may grant that his Spirit may strengthen us interiorly and so that Christ may dwell, through faith, in our hearts and in the heart of the Society.

There we find the source of our charism by which we can be rooted and grounded in love. Moreover, we will be able to understand, with all God’s people, the breadth and length, the height and depth of Christ’s love, and to experience that love which surpasses all human knowledge, so that we may be filled with the very fullness of God. […]


The charism of the Society of Jesus is not for itself but to collaborate in the redemptive, reconciling mission of Jesus in history. It is a charism to contribute to the body of Christ, which is the Church, called to preach the Good News to all humanity. St Paul expresses it with great simplicity and depth: “To me, the least of all the faithful, the grace has been given to proclaim to the pagans the incalculable riches that are in Christ, and to make known to all how this plan of salvation, hidden from the beginning of time in God, the Creator of all, is being fulfilled”.

The universal body of the Society, consecrated to the heart of Jesus, in the 21st century has also been sent with others on a mission of reconciliation and justice. The Universal Apostolic Preferences guide the concrete way in which we have been sent by Pope Francis to live and carry out this mission at this moment in human history. This week we have placed before our eyes the magnitude of the ecological imbalance that affects our planet, the immense risks it represents for humanity, especially for the poor, and the emergency of caring for the common home that starts from feeling it in the heart of the apostolic body and opening ourselves to the conversion of our life-mission at all levels.

The heart of Jesus, pierced by the lance, is eager to bathe us with his blood and water. May our participation in this Eucharist increase our desire to receive the grace offered to us, strengthen our rootedness in the Lord and move us to apostolic creativity in collaborating for the care of our Common Home.

7 June 2024