Reflecting on the love of the Sacred Heart


Love brought to perfection

Feast of the Sacred Heart, June 27, 2014

The image of the Heart of Jesus not only witnesses to the depth of love that God has for us but also reminds us of our capacity to love one another.  Indeed, when we feel that we are truly loved, we naturally become more loving.  Our loving actions, in turn, reveal God’s love for the world.

A romantic evening savors time for spouses to hear the words and experience the reality of “I love you.”  On Mother’s Day, a homemade card—glued, glittered, and smudged—speaks the language of love between a first-grader, who proudly presents it, and Mom, who proudly displays it.  The grandeur of a mountain chain or the quiet beauty of a crocus blooming in snow is nature’s way of lovingly embracing humanity.  Such echoes of the Heart of Jesus confirm that we are truly loved.

Dealing with the pain of an alcoholic spouse or a child with cancer breaks open one’s heart to make room for the intensity of tough or tender love.  Playing ball with their kids and grilling hamburgers for a picnic, parents model the simple gestures of affection.  Responding to prejudice with compassion for both the perpetrator and victim seeks to nourish love weakened by neglect.  Such likenesses to the Heart of Jesus reflect the expansiveness of our love.

Caring for her parent with Alzheimer’s, an adult child also tries to care for herself.  A retiree listens to guests at an overnight shelter.  A teacher stays after school to mentor his students.  A doctor travels to disaster-ravaged areas to provide medical assistance.  A friend fills a bit of the emptiness brought on by her companion’s clinical depression.  Such loving actions reveal God’s love for the world.

As the Priests of the Sacred Heart celebrate the Solemnity of the Heart of Jesus on Friday, June 27, they will hear these words proclaimed at Mass: “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 his love is brought to perfection in us” [I John 4:11-12].  Today, they ask you to join them in the life-long task of bringing God’s love to perfection within all of us.