Staying close to His heart...
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 19, 2020): DT 7:6-11; PS 103:1-2,3-4,6-7,8,10; 1 JN 4:7-16; Matthew 11:25-30
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Jesus wants our hearts to be open to the love in His Heart now so that we can share it with all we meet...
“God is love.” This phrase appears in today’s reading from St. John’s first Epistle. Surely we have heard and seen those words before, maybe even on posters or tee shirts. They have come to seem so trite and obvious that they no longer mean much. In fact, they mean everything. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we need to pause and think about love as the very essence of God Himself. The Son of God was crucified to redeem us from our sins out of love for us. However, His lesson in love does not stop there. He wants us to love Him back. And no, His lesson does not stop there either. Our Redeemer wants us to love one another. This is not just a suggestion for when it is convenient for us, when we like other people or when we identify with the way they look or think or believe. “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.… God is love and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1 John 4:10-11, 16).
Love is not something to experience among (most) family members and (many) friends and (some) neighbors while we are here on earth, and then expect to discover in heaven. Jesus wants our hearts to be open to the love in His Heart now so that we can share it with all we meet, or who live half a world away. Love is action and obligation. It can be sweet and beautiful, but it can also lead us to our own cross, where we will find Christ waiting. But if we believe that God is love, then we must be love, as well.
Suggested missionary action: Let us pray frequently to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, asking Him to make our heart like His. And let us joyfully, willingly share His love with all the other people for whom He died out of love, including in our prayers and through our generosity.