Friday, June 15, 2012

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It's an incredible feast day, because it focuses on God's intense love for us, but also on His sorrow for when we refuse His love, and His constant longing to be reunited with us. 

In the first reading(Hosea 11:1,3-4,8-9), God talks about how He raised His people, and how much love is bound up in them. Even though they constantly turn away, He is overwhelmed with His love of them(of us). He won't lash out. Instead, He reaches out in love and forgiveness.

The second reading(Ephesians 3:8-12,14-19) says that God is called Father by every family, and His Spirit(the Holy Spirit) gives our souls and hearts power through Jesus, in order that we, "rooted and grounded in love" may begin to know the breadth, length, height, and depth(that is every single aspect) of God's never ending love, "which surpasses knowledge". In this way, we will be filled completely with the fullness of God. 

In other words, through Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross, God gave us the ability to begin to realize how much we are loved, no matter what we have done, or what we will do.
In God, we are complete. There are no aches. There is no emptiness.  We are whole and full.
The amazing thing is that this is only the beginning of the knowledge of His love.
We have not even scratched the surface.
Think about that. 
As humans, we spend our entire lives craving relationships that provide us with support and love.
Right in front of us, is such a relationship.
This relationship is with Someone who loves unconditionally. 
Why would we turn away?
It's easy to feel unworthy, which might be one such reason.
That's ok. It's love. It doesn't make sense. It simply exists.

The Gospel(John 19: 31-37) is taken from the end of the Crucifixion. Jesus had already died, but the soldiers had to make sure, so one of them thrust a lance into Christ's side, and blood and water flowed out. 

Awhile ago, I read a book called The Spear. I posted a section of that book. Here it is again:
"Raising the spear with both hands, he thrust it with all his strength forward and up, through the crucified man's heart.
For one split moment he thought that he had been hit by a bolt of lightening. Everything around him lighted up with terrifying clarity, and he saw the long, lean body, pale and golden, with its arms outstretched as if to embrace him, and his spear entering it. He heard a thud, and he felt the resistance, either of the body or of the wood of the cross behind it.
Then it was night again, a dark-red night splashing all over him and blinding him completely, and he staggered and would have fallen if he had not held on to the spear in the crucified man's heart.
Blood. He was full of blood. The whole world was full of blood. He was suffocating in it.
From far, far away came the sound of crying. The world was crying.
....The head with the crown of thorns had sunk on the chest.
He must withdraw the spear now. Softly, softly. Blood came flowing again, dark red - and water. Blood and water.
For some strange reason it made him think not of death but of birth."

Think for a while. Please, I beg you. Reread that passage. The language is so powerful. The imagery is so real. This man had inflicted terrible pain upon another, and those very arms that he had hammered nails into(imagine that pain!) were stretching out to embrace him. The power of the Cross is this: it was an act of Love. 

Movie upon movie is made about people who fall in love, and overcome terrible things that happen to them because of love. Because of LOVE. Think. Think! If we, who can feel so strongly, and can do crazy things in the name of love, can accomplish great things because of love, how much more can we do when we realize that we are loved by God? 

If you believe in love, if you have experienced the power of loving someone so much that even when they mess up or push you away you still hold onto them, if you've witnessed love change someone's life, then you have seen God. He is alive. He is real. He does care. Everything's going to be ok, because He is here. 

Today, my heart is burning with love for you. For you. I may not know you, or know what you're going through, but I know that you are loved. And when I say that I know this, I mean that from the very core and center of being, in every sense of the word "know". 

In God, we are filled. Everything that has felt empty is filled with Him. Believe in Him. I beg you! Believe in Him!