Ordinary time week 10, Jn 19,31-37
Devotion to the Sacred Heart, encouraged by mediaeval mystics and promoted by St Gertrude, St Margaret Mary Alacoque, St John Eudes and others, represents a devotion to Jesus in his human nature, in particular referring to the heart as the seat of the emotions. Being baptised and receiving the sacraments, our human hearts, too, are sacred. Being made, like Jesus, in the image and likeness of God, we too are sacred beings.
Today’s feast not only reminds us of the love Jesus has for us but it evokes, in our hearts, our love for Jesus. Hosea speaks of God as one who cares deeply for us and who treats us with kindness. God wants life for us not our destruction.
Paul goes further, telling us that God gave us his son Jesus so that Jesus would live in our hearts. With Jesus in our hearts, we can live and act as Jesus would. Or, as Paul also said, “it is not I who live but Christ who lives within me”. Can you think of any greater love? John seals the immensity of the love God has for us but telling us that Jesus gave absolutely everything so that we would have life - life in Jesus, life in God.
Yes, we are fully human. Yes, we do not always live and act as Jesus would. Yes, sometimes we turn away from Jesus and even deny his presence. But Jesus gave his life for us to make us temples of God, temples of the Spirt, temples of the Divine. O Sacred Heart of Jesus we cannot thank you enough, but we will keep on trying.
by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a