First Reading: Ezk 34:11-16; Psalm: 23. R. v. 1; Second Reading: Rom 5:5b-11; Gospel: Lk 15:3-7
THE HEART THAT TRULY LOVES
BY 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. A loving and kind person we refer to as kind-hearted. And an unforgiving person we call stonehearted. 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 his salvific mission. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).
The argument of St Paul in the second reading is very obvious and true. 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. This was the kind of price Christ paid for us. Yet the world shows less appreciate to this sacrificial love. 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 respect for his sacrifice causes him so much pain. It hurts to respond to the sacrifice of the cross with sheer indifference. Imagine the false accusation, torture, injury, pain and agony that Jesus had to suffer for our sake. Do we think he deserves the kind of response we offer? Not minding our passive responses, Jesus still searches for us his lost sheep, calling us daily to return back to him. He will never stop searching until he finds us. What a heart. What a love. Imagine the pain of experiencing heartbreak. Some people can’t even stand it. 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.