Today is The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a designation that makes me, as a “cradle Catholic,” sit up and take notice. It’s the words Solemnity and Most that call attention to the holiness of Jesus as the model for life. In this way, my focus shifts from the beating and bleeding heart in the images of Jesus on the walls of many Catholic homes to a deeper consciousness that does not negate the truth of that devotion but expands and personalizes it in a new way. Lest the reader assume that I have left tradition behind, it seems important to mention that I have an image of the Sacred Heart in my prayer space at home. It is the totality of the symbols – the face of Jesus, the heart and fire illuminating it – and yes, drops of blood as a sign of his life’s sacrifice – that guides my prayer toward love each day.
The second reading for today speaks strongly of what I feel about this feast. Listen to John’s first letter (4: 7-16). Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God…In this is love: not that we have loved God but that God has loved us…Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and God’s love is brought to perfection in us…(Here’s the “punchline” – the crux of it all) God is love.
I read a quote once on a card that stays with me. It said, “We are not God but we are a seed of God..” I don’t remember the exact conclusion to that thought but it spoke of our responsibility to grow into God in ways that reflect God’s light, God’s love: the being of God. How might I nurture that movement today?