Celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – 23 June 2017
Excerpts from “To Be Loved by a Sacred Heart” – St Josemaria Escriva
“Christ is Passing By,” no. 162
“That Christ has come to us with a heart made of flesh tells us a lot about how the Sacred Heart loves us and about the kind of love we need. We are loved by any number of hearts during our earthly lives but one alone among them we call Sacred. We know how it feels to be loved by fallen people—by those who try but cannot love perfectly. But what it is to be loved by a Sacred Heart?
At the outset of the last supper, the Lord gets down on His hands and knees and washes the feet of His disciples. “Do you understand this?” He asks them. Before He tells the Apostles about union with Him, about the great commandment of love, about His joy, Jesus first shows them what it all “looks” like.
“Do you understand this?” This is perhaps the ultimate question as we reflect on what it means to be loved by the Sacred Heart. Perhaps the answer will be an honest, “No, Lord, I do not understand your love for me,” and that could be nearer the truth than anything. “I don’t understand what God is doing on His hands and knees wiping the dirt off of my feet. If I were Jesus, I wouldn’t treat me like He treats me. I wouldn’t be so tolerant and forgiving. I wouldn’t keep on loving someone like me.”
But to spend our lives in contemplation of His love for us, as the apostles surely did, is what will bring us ever closer to the source of the Love that constantly reaches into our lives, showing itself to be subtle, selfless and inexhaustible. If the fire, thorns and blood are the divinely revealed gauge of divine love in a human heart, then the more I welcome His tireless forgiveness, His unflinching friendship in the face of my infidelity, the more I will appreciate the mystery of divine charity which the Sacred Heart reveals.
Now we see imperfectly, in part but the part we do see should teach us why He needed to come to us with a heart of flesh, like ours.”