First Reading: Dt 7:6-11; Psalm: 103. R. v. 17; Second Reading: 1Jn 4:7-16; Gospel: Mt 11:25-30
THE HEART THAT TRULY LOVES
FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The heart is the seat of human feelings wherefrom our actions emerge. When we fall in love, our heart throbs. And when we are betrayed, hurt, or abandoned by a loved one, our heart aches. The expression “I love you” and the actions that follow it all stem from the heart. We are called ‘kind-hearted’ if we happened to be kind and sympathetic; but ‘hardhearted’ when we are callous and unfeeling. Consequently, our actions uncover the state of our hearts. The solemnity we celebrate today re-echoes the love of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus evident in the sacrifice of the cross. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).
As St Paul recounted in the second reading, we have seen and testified that God loves us, in that he sent his Son as Saviour of the world. And the only way we can appreciate this love and prove that we are begotten by God’s love is by loving one another, for God is love. It is a difficult decision to die for someone even if such a person is good or righteous. But the unimaginable love is dying for a sinner. Jesus paid this price. The French Nun Saint Margeret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) saw Jesus in a vision who told her: “Behold this heart that has loved men so much, has been loved so little in return.” For this reason, Jesus asked her that a feast of reparation be celebrated on Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.
The request of Jesus for a feast of reparation indicates that our lack of love and appreciation for his sacrifices causes him so much pain. It hurts him that we respond to the sacrifice of the cross with sheer indifference. Jesus suffered false accusation, torture, injury, pain and agony for our sake. He does not deserve the kind of response he gets from us? And not minding our passive responses, Jesus never ceases to draw us to himself. What a heart full of love! It breaks God’s heart to see us live in sin with no sign of repentance. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus beckons on us today to have a change of heart and begin to live as God’s true children.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have Mercy on us poor sinners. Amen.