3 June 2016
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
This past Sunday, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we saw how the Eucharist is the “doorway” to communion. It’s the doorway to communion with the living God and with all the faithful—the living and the dead. And if we look into that “doorway” of the Body and Blood of Christ we see into the heart of God; we see what makes God “tick.”
And what we see in the Most Sacred Heart: a Heart of passion and sacrifice, a Heart of compassion and mercy, a Heart burning with the flame of selfless love and affection. We see a strong Heart, a glorious Heart, a Heart of forgiveness which not even the gravest of sins can diminish. We see a personal Heart, the Heart of a living God, a Heart poured out and offered to us in a spirit of divine friendship.
The Lord says again and again through the prophet Ezekiel: “I myself will look after my sheep.” “I will tend my sheep, I will rescue them, I will lead them, I will bring them back, I will pasture them, I myself will give them rest, the lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will.” The Lord himself will come to his people; his own Sacred Heart will be our life and our hope.
We look into the heart of God and we see . . . the Lord himself looking back at us! Not with a scowl, not with condescension, but with kindness and mercy—glorious, radiant mercy. And we look upon the Body and Blood of Christ and there we see an open hand of mercy and reconciliation offered to us. The merciful Heart of God is opened to us; it’s freely given to us, as the Bridegroom offers himself to his Bride.
And that’s where it ends, unless there’s a response. The Sacred Heart is an invitation from Jesus to: “Come! Be with me!” It’s an invitation to profess that: “The Lord himself is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.” It’s an invitation to love and be loved. But the invitation just hangs there . . . until there’s a response.
God waits for our response. He gives himself through the Sacred Heart, through the Body and Blood of Christ. He opens a door to infinite mercy. And he waits for our response. With patience and great love . . . he waits.