12 June 2015
Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič
If someone were to ask you today ‘of all the amazing miracles and signs performed by the Lord Jesus, the only begotten Son of the heavenly Father, who was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, what in your opinion would be the greatest sign of his love and compassionate Heart done during his earthly life?’ How would you reply?
Was it when he gave sight back to the blind man from birth and immediately the man could see? (John 9:1-41). No, this would not be enough, even though something as wonderful as this had never been heard of before.
Was it when he healed the 10 lepers of their terrible and contagious disease, yet only one came back to him to say ‘thank you’? (Luke 17:11-19). No, not even then.
Was it when he healed a woman who suffered 12 years from a serious haemorrhage? (Mk 5:21-43). No, not that time either.
Perhaps when he was teaching in a synagogue in Galilee and he healed a woman who had suffered a serious infirmity for 18 years? (Luke 13:10-13). Jesus only said to her: “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity”. He then laid his hands on her and the woman immediately stood up! Not even then did he manifest the vastness of his heart to people.
Was it possibly when he showed a sign of mercy at the Sheep Gate, by a pool called Bethesda, when he raised a paralyzed man from the bed he had been lying on for 38 years and there was no one to lower him into the healing waters? (John 5:1-18). Jesus said to the man: “Rise, take up your pallet and walk!” And the man was healed at once and took up the bed that until then bore him! No, not even on this occasion.
Was it when he fed those 5,000 men alone (Mk 6:30-44), along with women and children who couldn’t be counted? They wanted to proclaim him as their king afterwards so that they might always have free bread and entertainment. No, not that time.
How about when he freed the man from Gerasene whose name was “Legion” because he was possessed by many devils? (Mark 5:1-20). Not even then.
And what about when he brought back to life the 12-year daughter of Jair, the head of the synagogue? (Mk 5:21-43). Or when he stopped the funeral procession and raised a youngster of Nain, the only son of his widowed mother and returned the boy alive to his mother? (Luke 7:11-17). Or when he summoned Lazarus from the grave who he had been buried already for four days? (Jn 11:1-54). Not even on these amazing occasions.
Was it perhaps the time he forgave that nameless woman who entered into Simon’s house crying and contrite, while Jesus was at lunch and he took the woman as an example to defend himself against the Pharisees of this world? This particular gesture brings us closest to recognizing the meek and humble heart of Jesus. But there was to be an even greater expression of his love.
All of these events and miracles not only touched those that were sick, who experienced Jesus’ healing power, his grace and compassion, but they also provided great joy to their family members, relatives and villagers, who no longer had to worry about their ill or dead!
Yet nowhere and in no other circumstance did Jesus show the miraculous power and love of his divine Heart as during the time of his trial, suffering and death on the cross.
We know that during the moment of his own greatest suffering, the supreme manifestation of the Love and Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ was shown to all of mankind. Jesus died for all people of all ages and generations. He gave up his life for the unjust judges and governors, for all the Barabbas’ and Dismus’ of the world, for all the good and bad thieves, and for all the crowds of bystanders of all times. Maybe somewhere and in some instances it has been heard that someone died for a righteous person, but what the Lord God has done has never been heard of or done before, except in Jesus Christ, the only Saviour and Redeemer of the entire human race.
It is this Sacred Heart, overwhelmed by pity and pierced by a lance for our salvation, from which blood and water flowed out, that we worship and seek to imitate in our lives, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith and we may be transformed into people with big and sensitive hearts for humanity.