Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am afraid that sometimes the devotion to the Sacred Heart comes off as syrupy and sentimental. I hope I do not offend but I must say that some of the images of the Sacred Heart present Jesus in an almost feminized manner. His long locks of flowing hair, red lips and an almost “come hither” look are bothersome to me. Such qualities look fine on a woman, but not a man. Again, I hope this does not offend. There are surely good depictions of the Sacred Heart out there, I just think some are in bad taste. But, beyond sentiment this a serious feast. God has a heart to save us and a love that is vigorous. Jesus love for us was a strong, manly and saving love. He never hesitated to speak the truth in love. He loved us enough to warn us of sin and call us to repent. He loved us enough to summon us to sacrifice and taught us that the greatest love was to lay down your life for others. In the end it was not nails that held him to the cross but love, love for the Father and love for us. The heart of Jesus contains not just a sentimental love, but a saving and summoning love. His heart is strong and spacious, vigorous and victorious. And his love alone is powerful enough to drive back sin and restore grace. For some reason I am mindful of the Words of Dr. Martin Luther King who sad: Darkness cannot conquer darkness, only light can do that and hatred cannot conquer hatred, only love can do that.
The video you are about to see is the furthest thing from sentimental. It is from the passion of the Christ and shows the moment of Christ’s death. Shortly thereafter a soldier thrust open Christ’s side and reveals the very Heart of God. The way the movie depicts it, Christ’s love, his Holy Spirit almost explodes from his side. And this love “confuses the proud in their inmost thoughts” and “lifts up the lowly.” The Temple leaders are in confusion, the Roman guards are in flight. But Mary, John and Mary are at peace beneath the Cross of Christ. His heart has been revealed. Christ’s vigorous love makes Satan howl in frustration and defeat. Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart. May you know the strong and powerful love of Christ.