At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.“
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
One word that strikes me when I reflect upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the word “passion.” The flames and the wounds in the image depict the burning passion of Jesus’s love for us. As somewhat of a linguist, I’m drawn to the Latin root of the word, which means “to suffer.” Wait, suffering? Why do we have to go there?
If you ask St. Ignatius, understanding Jesus’s Passion is key to understanding God’s love for us. In the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises, the retreatant is asked to pray with the Passion narratives. In this experience, we recognize that we cannot stop the soldiers who beat Jesus nor the crowd that yells for his death. Instead, through simply being with Jesus in his suffering, we come to know the depth of his love for us. How does the Sacred Heart of Jesus speak to you?
Jesus Christ, may your death be my life
and in your dying may I learn how to live.
May your struggles be my rest,
Your human weakness my courage,
Your embarrassment my honor,
Your passion my delight,
Your sadness my joy,
in your humiliation may I be exalted.
In a word, may I find all my blessings in your trials. Amen.
—St. Peter Faber