The “heart of the matter” of a heart is the very essence of the identity of a person, the innermost sacred space of one’s way of life and value system.
I am reminded of a story that I have heard some time in the past. There was this three-year-old son with an apple in each his hands. Looking at him, his mother asked for an apple. The child bit the apple in his right hand. The mother then requested him to give the apple which was in his left hand. Immediately the child bit the apple in his left hand as well. The mother then asked, “My son, you don’t like to give me an apple?” The child’s immediate response was: “I want to give you the sweetest apple, mom.”
Genuine love inspires and motivates us to give the best to our loved ones. It is this love that let God give His Only Son into the world where you and I live. That is a total giving, of the everlasting love, that you and I may have eternal life. As a response to this “giving”, I whisper to God, “I am yours, and yours I wish to be always.”
Jesus, whom Paul calls the “image of the unseen God,” shows us what God is like. Through the symbol of the heart, Jesus is pointing to the Love of God, telling us that God loves us, all of us, always.
The heart of Jesus reveals that God is not cold and distant, but has a warm, tender and loving concern for humanity and for all of creation.
“Come to me all who labor and are burdened and I shall give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
The heart is considered the center of the body. It is the seat of life, wisdom, and love. Jesus taught his disciples about forgiveness and understanding towards the broken, the sinful, and the neglected, as the stream of Love and mercy flows from his pierced heart. Stories from the Gospels abound of his forgiveness for sinners. The woman at the well was treated with kindness and Bartimaeus the blind beggar was touched with his healing hand.
The Lord hears the cry of the humble. On December 15, 2016, as I finished offering the Holy Eucharist at St. John Paul II Parish, Mr. Bob, who assisted me at the Eucharist, came to me with a humble request that I pray over him for healing, as he was having a painful lump on his neck. We surrendered his intention to the Lord and I prayed over him in the powerful name of Jesus. Each of us then returned to our homes.
After three days when I went to offer the Eucharist in the same church he came running to me, praising and thanking God, witnessing that he slept well that night and on the following day when he got up, the lump had completely disappeared. It was a resurrection experience for him and his family and he re-dedicates his life for a cause much higher than himself and his interests.
Compassion and love that flows from the Sacred Heart of Jesus is always available to us who believe in Him. May His name be glorified.
This reflection for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was written by Fr. Jimmy Mathew, C.S.C. A member of the Province of South India, he is currently the National Director of Family Rosary Crusade in the Philippines.