Friday, June 27, 2014

God's Heart: Daily Mass Homily--Friday, June 27th, 2014 (Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

            The word heart is used over a thousand times in the Bible.  While at times it refers to the organ that pumps blood around the body, the sacred authors usually have a different intent with this word.  Most of the time heart refers to the source of emotions or seat of life in the human person.
            One feature of Old Testament literature is the use of anthropomorphic descriptions of God.  While God is true spirit, the Old Testament uses metaphorical language to describe Him with a face, hands, back and mouth.  In the first reading we learn of God’s heart: “…the LORD set his heart on you and chose you…”  What a beautiful image of God and this, from the Old Testament, which was before Jesus came to reveal the Father more fully.
            Living after Christ, we understand a fuller picture of God’s metaphorical heart: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”
            Yet above all, Jesus came to make literally what was metaphoric.  Having become a man, Jesus took on a body with an anatomical heart.  On the cross, this heart stopped beating as Jesus gave up his life and it was pierced by a soldier’s lance.  Yet this physical death gave new life.  This new life was foreshadowed by Jesus’ Sacred Heart pouring forth water and blood—signs of our Sacraments—and fulfilled every image of God’s heart in the Old Testament.
            Through this gift, Jesus tells us: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”  Wherever you are today—busy or tired with daily work, dry in prayer, stressed out or battling sin—find rest in Jesus’ Sacred Heart.  

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