The Heart of Jesus is the Heart of Love.
Jesus Christ was a brilliant, mind-boggling teacher whose lessons, insight, and wisdom left even erudite scholars awestruck. And yet there is no feast of the Sacred Mind. What the Church celebrates instead is the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Which, right from the get-go, reveals something to us; that what really matters in life is not what we do with our brain, but with our heart.
The works of mercy are all of the heart. Our brain may not allow us to do those things, but it is the heart that will help us to reach out to others with the heart of Jesus.
“Change my heart O Lord; make it ever new. Change my heart O Lord. May I be like you.”
To get to the heart of anyone, we need to actually listen to them. It is only when we are able to do this we come to know the person more and not just feel for them.
When we look around these days we are looking for many changes to happen in our world, country, city, and people and in ourselves. But in reality what is most needed is a change of heart.
In the world scenario wherein there is war, so much of hatred, all are waiting for some change to take place. We are also looking for a change in leadership in places where there is so much of unrest and fear. But if we look deep within our self and at what is going around us and in us, what is more needed is not external change, but an internal change and that is a change of heart.
If we are only able to listen to our own conscience we would make this change happen. It is with our attentive ears that we are able to listen to our very own heart and that of others. It is with an undivided heart that we are able to listen to the pleas of people and will be able to make this world a better place. (Listen to the voice of the lost sheep)
This month of June is dedicated to this one special heart that we want to really imitate and that is the ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’. “Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Yours,” is a plea that we often make to the Sacred Heart.
Today we are much bombarded with media, that we could be hearing so much but hardly listening to anything. It is when we spend some time listening to people that we can hear them and what they want to say and much more what is not expressed.
The heart of Jesus had this great quality to listen to individuals and to the crowds. When we read through the gospels we will find this listening heart of Jesus; a heart that went out in search of the lost (like the sheep), the unwanted of society, ones in need of both spiritual and material wants, to comfort, to encourage, to lift up their own broken hearts.
The heart of Jesus is the heart of Love. A love that has no end. Heart ready to bleed at all times, to be struck, to be deserted, and to be betrayed; yet the Heart that goes out to love those who will still not return love.
A few classical examples from the Gospels of how the heart of Jesus changed a few individual to respond tell us that we too can do the same. A change of heart of these few individual were possible either because they listened to the heart call of Jesus or found their very own hearts in tune with that of Jesus.
The Centurion on the way to Calvary, seeing all that had taken place and the way Jesus reacted had a deep impression on him, the ultimate scene that struck his own heart was that of the words from the mouth of Jesus from the Cross, that made him make a deep profound statement of Faith: ‘Truly He was the Son of God’. A total change from a disciplinary heart to that of a faith-love filled heart.
Take another example of Zachaeus, a man who wanted to have a glimpse of Jesus while he passed his town. It was the tender and watchful heart of Jesus that listened to his desire, calls him by name and wanted to be with him for a little longer, that brought a conversion in Zachaeus’ personal and social life too. A change from a selfish heart to that of total giving.
The example of Saul, who had fallen from his horse on to his knees heard the voice of Christ speaking to him, to put on a new self and heart. It was in his listening to Christ that he not only changed his name to Paul, but his very heart, a missionary heart like that of Christ, embracing every people of every race and nation.
The greatest of all example is that of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who kept her heart open and was thus able to listen to the voice of God through the angel that she would be the Mother of God. In her life, she tried to live the heart of her Son, one example was that she was able to see and recognize the plight of the couple at Cana and asked her Son to help them out; ‘They have no wine’. She later on also asked the servants out there to get their first lesson on opening their own hearts and to listen to Jesus, by saying, ‘Do whatever He tells you’ and thus the first miracle was performed by Christ and many not just believed in Him but wanted to imitate him too.
Our hearts were meant to be like that of Christ, as we are born in the image and likeness of God Himself. Let us all strive during this month of June to leave our Heart-prints in the lives of people around and thus be the Heart of Christ in the world today.
Fr. Franco Pereira, S.D.B.