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Head or Heart

Some people lead with their heart while others are very rational and use their head in making decisions.  Today’s Solemnity of the Sacred Heart might make us think that Jesus always leads with His heart.  There is some truth in this view since Jesus teaches that mercy is more important than sacrifice or even the strict obligations of the Torah.  In Jesus’ Jewish worldview, however, the heart is the center not only of emotion but also of rational thought, so reason and mercy go together.

What does it mean to say that Jesus has a Sacred or Holy Heart?  It means that Jesus has the heart of God and does the Will of his Heavenly Father by opening his heart to all of us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).  John even sees a holy heart as the defining characteristic of God: “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” (1 John 4:16).  God has opened His heart to each one of us and loves each one of us.  Jesus asks us in turn to open our hearts and to show this same holy love: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (John 13:34)

Today as we celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus we kneel in praise and petition before our holy and loving God: “For this reason I kneel before the Father…that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love…what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19).

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