Friday, June 22, 2007

"One of the soldiers with a spear opened his side" (John 19:34)

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a remedy for common want of modern times - lack of charity. "It is getting cold in Europe nowadays" - are the words of some political celebrity of our times. Nations grow in wealth, the welfare and humanitarian aid systems develop, we should expect proportional progress in mutual help and loving relationship among humankind. However, it seems that it is far from ideal, exactly as St Paul once summed up the evils of spreading paganism: "Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof." (2 Timothy 3:2-5). How often those who think themselves heralds of modern humanitarianism do this out of selfish motives, to promote their political careers etc. In reality the main agenda today is war; war between social classes, at work, in families, between nations. Even the best pacifist movement is helpless with this sad tendency. In the middle of these, the Sacred Heart of Our Lord calls to the whole world: "Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls" (Matt 11:29). The example of His life can be even more appealing: "who went about doing good" (Acts 10:38). His charity was in reality for all, for healthy and sick, living and dead, rich and poor. His message was clear: " For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have?" (Matt 5:46). It was what He was doing Himself, during His Passion He prayed for His oppressors: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). How different it is from what we see around us. Can we imagine the Kingship of meak and humble Heart of Our Lord in the modern world? It would be enough to make this very hostile and troubled world the oasis of peace in the spirit of genuine Christian brotherhood. How remarkable therefore, are the words of Our Lord: "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." (John 13:34)