The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
(Hosea 11:1.3-4.8-9; Ephesians 3:8-12.14-19; John 19:31-37)
The metaphorical heart comes in different sizes, textures, and temperatures. A big heart will generously share one’s resources. A hard heart will spurn a plaintiff’s dire plea. A warm heart will listen attentively to another’s problem. Today we celebrate Jesus’ “sacred heart.” The term is meant to convey the Savior’s immeasurable love for his people. It is holy not because it stands apart from others. Quite the contrary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus extends itself to everyone. Jesus loves even those who hate him.
Today’s second reading from the Letter to the Ephesians speaks not of Jesus’ heart but our own. However, it proposes that our hearts be nurtured in the love which emanates from his heart. It is the love propelling Fr. Rob Galea, a popular youth leader in Australia. Fr. Rob tells how he encountered Jesus after being entrenched in teen-age vice. He says he confessed all the pain and anger that had moved him to sin. Then he experienced the joy and hope of his mercy. Now Fr. Rob sings and preaches of Jesus’ love around the world.
Fr. Rob’s experience is duplicated a million times a day, every day of the year. It can be ours as well when we recognize the false claims of our ever-domineering will. We have to acknowledge that we are not the center of the world. Christ is because although completely innocent, he suffered out of love for the world. His love has renewed our hearts so that we might glorify him by loving others.