Celebrating a Heart Completely Human and Completely Divine

06-09-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo C.S.Sp., V.F.

Beloved Parishioners,

In line with my promise to keep sharing with you some significant reflections on the solemnities we celebrate in the church, today I wish to share with you another reflection on the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. These past Sundays, we have been celebrating great mysteries that distinguish the Church as the most powerful spiritual institution in the world.

After the Resurrection Sunday (Easter), we continue celebrating Jesus as the center of our life, the mediator between man and God. Two Sundays ago, while reflecting on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we pointed specifically to the place of love in the Triune Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, which also translates to us, the active partakers of this eternal love. Last Sunday, you remember that we pointed out the importance of faith, especially with the hard teaching of Jesus regarding His Flesh as food for the life of the world. In our reflection for today, we are to ponder again on yet another crucial mystical reality, THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS, which also marks the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.

You saw the historical setting of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, whose foundation rested on a Belgian Augustinian nun, St. Juliana, Prioress of Mont Cornillon. Please meet another Visitation nun of the convent of Paray-le-Monial, Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) who, on 27 December 1673 received the first vision of Jesus who invited her to a unique experience “My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with humanity that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its ardent love. It must pour them out. I have chosen you for this great plan.” Engaging the heart, a theologian Dunn reveals that the term, kardia, heart, denotes the innermost part of the person, the seat of emotions, but also of thought and will (Dunn 1998, p.74). The Heart of Jesus is completely Human and completely Divine, united in one nature (Miaphysitism).

Heart as the Seat of Emotions

As Jesus spoke to St. Margaret Mary, He says to us specifically, My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with humanity that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its ardent love. It must pour them out. His voice even sounds more loudly at this time of war and violence, turbulence, bitterness, hatred, injustice, countless violation, abuses, and vices. The Word of God admonishes us to keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another (Romans 13:8). Know that no matter your wealth, integrity, social status, fame, academic exploit, etc., you are a debtor…owing even your enemy, love. You can decide today to get into a love contract with Jesus, to transmit unconditional love to the whole world, since in giving love, we also gain love.

Heart as the Seat of Thought and Will

If we consider the composition of man, it will be obvious that dealing with the heart is synonymous to discussing the human soul. Of course, you know that the faculties of the soul are the mind, emotions, and will. Reasoning with theologians, neuroscientists, and harkening to the voice of God, we are to guard the heart diligently because, out of it comes the issues of life. It is a fact that how we feel and what we think contribute greatly to our health. Unhealthy thoughts and emotions are the source of many incurable diseases. The question is, are we ready to strip off every weight of thought and will that separate us from being enveloped into the loving thought of Jesus for us? We are to take the yoke of Jesus and learn from Him as He demands of us. The thought of Jesus is of peace, and not of evil, to give us an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). May the grace of this solemnity direct our thoughts and guide our decision-making through Christ our Lord, Amen.