Imagine a Being Who is Love, all and only unadulterated Love, an abyss of Love, uncreated, inexhaustible, unfathomable, timeless, boundless Love. Utterly complete in Himself, He is at the same time Lover, Beloved, and the Perfect Love which flows from the One and is returned by the Other. In His eternal Perfection, needing absolutely nothing, He nonetheless determines that He will create other beings simply out of a reckless overflow of Love, beings whom He can shower with all good things, which is to say, with Himself. And so He creates.
In the beginning, Love created the heavens and the earth. Love created the light simply by His Word, and how good it was! How could it not be, created as it was from the utter benevolence of Him Who willed nothing but love for His creation? Love created the planets and the stars. Love, an Artist painting Himself out onto His canvas, divided the waters, grew the plants, created the animals, the birds, the fish. And then in a spasm of Love greater than any other, He formed the pinnacle of His creation, a creature but not an animal, a being literally created in Love’s own image. Love crowned His creature with glory and honor, appointed him ruler over creation, and put all things under his feet.
To love, and to be loved, Love created man.
And man spat in Love’s eye.
Man sided with the enemy, believing his lies, calling Goodness tyranny and mistrusting Love’s every motive. Man struck out on his own, and fell prostrate into filth of his own making. And to crown the rebellion, man then blamed his misery on Love.
Perfect Love felt the grief of a parent. Watching His beloved child sheltering in gutters and sorting through trash heaps for offal to eat, He cried, He called out into the darkness of man’s heart – “Come back to Me! Only I love you – only I can bring you what you are searching for! In My house there is a feast prepared for you!”
But man wandered further still.
Perfect Love knew the pain of a rejected suitor. Not hesitating to play the fool, He rode through the streets calling, “I have bought you fine garments, and obtained jewels to adorn you! The house has been built! Come to Me, My beloved! Say yes to My proposal, and live in the joy of My Presence forever!”
But man, scarfing swill from pig troughs, snorted contemptuously and stopped up his sore-encrusted ears.
Perfect Love exhausted all avenues. Every message had been returned unopened, and the messengers beaten and stripped. “Surely they will respect My Beloved, My One and Only, the One eternally begotten in Love!” He reasoned. When Love had tried all else, He sent His Beloved One to woo the world.
And Love became man, helpless and vulnerable Love, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Love dwelt among men, and grew in wisdom and in stature. Love was one of us, and yet He did what we refused to do – He embraced the unfathomable Love poured out, and He returned it perfectly. His ears were filled with both the whisperings of the enemy and of the Comforter, and Love rejected the one completely and utterly, throwing Himself into the embrace of the Truth and Light. Love lived among men, and Love loved.
For this He was despised, rejected, counted as nothing, scorned, spurned, stripped, scourged, beaten, crowned and crucified. Man, curdled by fear, with his horror of weakness because it is so close to suffering, hated Meek Love which would debase Himself to become a man. We will kill you if you let us – we play this game to win! If you are weak, you deserve every indignity we heap upon You! Stand up to us – stop us! Come down from the Cross if Love is so strong!!
Surely they will respect My Beloved!
Surely not. And now, there was no depraved depth to which man had not sunk. Man murdered Love sent in love, Who gave up His life for sheer love of those who drove the nails….
As the news spread on the third day, man was shocked to learn that he had bet on the wrong horse. Love, thought so weak, Love Who allowed Himself to be trampled and uttered not a sound, was stronger than the strongest thing known to man, the one thing unconquerable – death. As man shuddered in terror of reprisal, the look on the face of Love cast out all fear. Incredibly, Love still loves you. Love still wants you. The offer made in Eden still stands.
Come back to Me!
This day is the Feast of the unfathomable, unconquerable Sacred Heart, the Feast of the Love which refused to take mankind’s no for an answer. He allowed this Heart of His to be broken, quite literally, to make us a part of His Life for all eternity. This Lover does not wear His Heart on His sleeve – He holds it in His outstretched Hand, asking us to accept His offer and return our hearts in kind. Yes, it will hurt, but the happy ending is that it’s a good kind of hurt, the kind that conquers death and ends in Life – Life in the Heart of God.
O Most Sacred Heart of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I consecrate myself to You today. You are the font of Divine Love, and concerned for all Your creatures for whom You shed Your Precious Blood upon the Cross. Receive me, Beloved Redeemer, as I seek to give myself totally to You. Accept my thoughts and actions, my prayers and devotions, my pains and my cares, my joys and sorrows, and make all of them Yours, in union with Your Most Sacred Heart, and may they always conform to Your Will which I now take as my rule and guide. As I consecrate myself to You, I ask You to create in me a new heart, one which will be free from sin and filled with compassion and love for all people. Make me an instrument in Your Divine Plan of salvation. Ever keep me strong in faith, hope and love, and never let me be separated from You!
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Yours!
On the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Deo omnis gloria!