Sunday, Jun. 5th 2016

A Reflection on Hearts

In the last few days the liturgical calendar has been focused on hearts.  Friday was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saturday was the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and today the readings at Mass present us with a window into the Heart of Jesus in the Gospels and the heart of an all too human widow.  I want to take this time to reflect on the beauty of these hearts.

The first heart we will look at is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is clearly seen after the side of Jesus is pierced by the lance.  The water and blood that flow from His Heart are signs of the love Jesus has for each of us.  The water represents the sacrament of Baptism, the first sacrament that every Christian experiences.  This sacrament stems from the desire God has to get to know each and every person in a more personal way.  We are introduced to His Love through the sacrament.  The blood is an image of purification; by the shedding of Jesus’ blood we are saved.  Through the blood of Jesus we can see His radical desire to mold us in His image, especially through the reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist.  By coming to know Jesus in His person, we become more and more like Him.  The image of the blood and water reveal to us the desire God has for us to be with Him.  He literally sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die so that we might be with Him in Heaven.

The second Heart we will look at is the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is the birthplace of her most pure fiat. Mary’s yes originated in her heart, and from there flowed out into her everyday life.  Our fiat like her fiat must be a continuous and unending response to the call of relationship, which was initiated by the Sacred Heart.  Mary’s heart was so conformed to the Will of God that she was led solely by Divine Wisdom, as it says in the Office of Readings for feast day of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary.

The widow’s very human response to the grave illness that killed her son was to blame Elijah.  It is a very human response.  When I read this exchange I was immediately transported into the mind of the widow.  Lashing out at God is a constant temptation for me, especially when in my pride and jealously I feel slighted.  But her actions towards Elijah, though they affect Elijah’s actions, do not change the Sacred Heart’s desire to know and love us.  In today’s Gospel we see Jesus moved with pity for a widow who has lost her son.  He reaches out toward the coffin and resurrects the woman’s son.  Jesus did not wait for the woman to ask Him to heal her son; He was overcome with pity, with mercy.  And just as the son was healed we too can receive the healing touch of Jesus if we ask Him for it, and sometimes He heals us before we can ask Him to because of our faith. 

We have seen The Sacred Heart of Jesus and how through His heart He reaches out to us.  We have been given a blames example in the Immaculate Heart Of Mary to follow. 

We have been given a very human and hurt reaction to sin, which ends with healing.

And we have been given an example of Jesus’ desire to heal us.

All we have to do is believe He can.

jtolberdJon Tolberd is a senior at Conception Seminary College studying for the Diocese of Wichita in Kansas.

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