Today we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When did devotion to the Sacred Heart begin? Many will say that it began with St Margaret Mary, a nun who had visions and lived in the second half of the 1600's. But devotion to the Heart of Jesus goes back to the apostolic times. Only St. John has written about the piercing of the heart of Jesus. He tells us a centurion pierced the side of Jesus and out flowed blood and water. St John Chrysostom tells us that this is a symbol of the sacraments of the Church. As Adam fell asleep , God took from his side a rib and formed Eve, So Jesus when he had died the new Eve, that is the Church, was formed from His side.
All the other wounds on Jesus' body were formed before He died but this one is after His death, Why? I think it is because John wanted to show us that Jesus loved us so much He had to give all of His humanity as a sacrifice, even down to the dregs in His body. There is now nothing left to give. God loves us so much that He gave His all for us. That is the powerful meaning behind the Sacred Heart.
What about you and me, can we say we have given our all to God? Are we willing to offer the last drop of our blood to God? Do we baulk at the idea?
The Sacred heart of Jesus is exposed to us so we can, when we need help, turn to His Sacred Heart. St. Augustine said "Longinus with a spear has opened for me the side of Jesus Christ, I have entered into It, and there I will dwell in security and repose sweetly; there I am comforted with the delights and fed with deliciousness" We too can rest beside the Heart of Jesus. In prayer we can rest our head on His chest and listen to His heart beating. We too can enter the side of Jesus and present Him with our hearts, we can fuse our hearts to His so that the two beat as one, we become one with the Lord.
When we feel that the trials of this life are great, when we feel overburdened, we should turn to Him on the cross and in loud sighs call out O Heart on the cross , O Heart on the Cross