Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Sacred Heart

John 19:31-37

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Edithann Kane

Published: June 12, 2015

Ephesians 3


… that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

There was a time when devotion to the Sacred Heart was an essential Catholic practice around the world. At least in the United States, that no longer seems to be the case. The image of the exposed heart of Jesus here can evoke a frown, although this does not seem to be the case with the Valentine heart! And yet, both speak of love—in the case of Jesus’ heart, LOVE is personified.

Scientists discovered some years ago, that the heart and the brain contain many of the same kind of cells. There is not really a dichotomy between thinking and feeling; rather, thinking and feeling are intertwined. At least, this is how non-scientist writers understand this interaction today.

Images come and go, but the reality remains. Our faith tells us that we are surrounded, engulfed, embraced by the love of God. We see, hear, smell, taste, and touch it every day, if only we can think with our hearts. And we know this reality most fully in the person of Jesus, if only we can feel with our minds.

How often do we sing “God is Love?” LOVE then is the power that has created all that is good; in Jesus, LOVE frees us from all that would keep us from knowing one day ”the breadth and length and height and depth,” that is the love of God. Even as we journey through life, the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, given to us, “fills our hearts and kindles in them the fire of Love.”

The recent death of my 97 year old father has me thinking a lot about where he is – and with whom he is. Although my knowing is mostly from my heart, I realize that he is in the Heart of God, imaged for us in the Heart of Jesus, completely caught up in Love, as all of us will be one day. And we will hear the words: “Come into my Sacred Heart.”



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