by M. J. Joachim
Perhaps the most profound thing about the Sacred Heart of Jesus is that it emphasizes God’s mercy and desire to have a personal relationship with people. Growing up with “fire & brimstone,” I can assure you, God was to be feared much more than loved.
The entire concept evades me. Here is our God, who sent His only son to be crucified for our salvation. How do you reasonably fear someone like that? Is there any validity in casting God as a villain, when throughout the Bible, He exposes such villains, reprimanding them in turn?
The Church was frustrated and in turmoil when Jesus revealed the importance of His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary. In fact, the institution was trying to keep control of a situation, while Jesus was responding in love, showing the wounds He suffered and carried in His heart of hearts on our behalf.
Finding Jesus in the Temple, the fifth joyful mystery of the rosary, btw, readily comes to mind. This God called to account the Pharisees misusing their power in the name of worshipping God. There was no fight. He simply loved them into deeper understanding, acknowledging that some would be incapable of understanding at all. Some would actually make a conscious choice to be blind.
The Catholic Church is an amazing organization, so long as it remains true to the faith it represents. Throughout our history, we’ve sometimes missed the opportunity to show Christ’s love as He taught us, by focusing on His sacrifice and mercy.
However, if one examines history a little bit closer, it’s easy to see that Christ was not a force to be reckoned with, until His mission was completely misrepresented. (The Gospel of Matthew 21:12 comes to mind, where Jesus drove out the people buying and selling in the temple.)
One cannot serve two masters. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is about love, sacrifice and salvation. It is not about power, control or financial gain, posterity and security.
Conflict arises when people miss the point and get off track. Jesus quickly calls them back to the truth, through invocation and devotion to His Sacred Heart.
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Until next time, I wish you every good thing,
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