If we are in love, we know that it is our heart which is at work and the one responsible for such a great feeling. If we feel pity over the misery of our brothers and sisters, we know that it is our heart which feels that feeling of compassion. If we are feeling sad, we know that we have to nourish our hearts for us to be happy again and lift our spirits up.
In the negative sense, if we had become so rude and merciless to our brothers and sisters, we know that our hearts failed in its job because it is somehow evident that our hearts are pre-programmed to do what is good. Heartless people are the ones without conscience and without compassion to their brothers and sisters. These are the people who can laugh and feast on the unfortunate situation of another. These are the persons who would want the miserable situation for other people and wish them really bad.
But how can we wish for the good of somebody who has done us terrible bad things that has put us into a very unlikely situation? I believe that such a thing is humanly impossible for us to wish for. I wonder if there is anybody in here in this world who can wish for good things to come to the man who raped your sister or to the man who killed your family or to the woman who spoke all the possible evil talk about you. This is next to impossible because of the simple fact that we do not have the heart of Christ. In the prophecy of Ezekiel, God said to the Israelites:
“I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again. I will give you an undivided heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
This declaration is a clear indication that the people, even the people of the Old Testament times did not have a heart that is pure enough to be accepted as it is by God. God knows that the people do not have a heart that is capable of forgetting one’s self for the good of the other. He knows that the human lover is capable only of loving those who are lovable and beyond that will require a martyr’s blood in him. The defect lies in the heart and not in any other aspects of our humanity. Maybe the mind can contribute to what the heart proposes but God, our creator knows fully well that it is our heart which needs not only repair, not only a reformat, not even the so-called reverting to the factory settings, but God knows that what is needed is nothing else but a CHANGE!
A real change of heart is what we need. It means getting rid of our human heart and putting on the heart of Christ, the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Don’t ask me how to do it but what I am sure of is that even the sophisticated heart transplant is not enough for this change of heart.
We have to reflect on the kind of heart that Jesus has. We need to ask what are the characteristics of his heart so we can learn to wear that heart too! Of course, it is not a physical change but rather a radical change… it must be a substantial or an essential change… a change in the being… an ontological change.
We can still have our physical hearts with all the illnesses that it might be sick of but the change of heart, the putting on of Christ’s heart is simply our resolve and our conviction to feel like He feels, be compassionate as He is merciful, be forgiving as He forgave those who crucified Him, be loving as He loved even the man with a traitor’s blood in the person of Judas. Jesus is asking us to have a heart not made of stone but a natural heart that can love even the unlovable and can forget even the unforgettable and a heart that can love even up to the point of shedding our own blood and giving up our own lives for the sake and well-being of the beloved.
My dear friends, this is the essence of our Christianity. This is what following Christ means. This is what we are if we are serious with our Christian commitment and ideals. At this point in time, maybe we are not yet what we are supposed to be but what we need first before that particular change of heart could ever happen to us and bear fruit in us is that we need to be sorry of our sins first. This is the very first step towards realizing changes in our lives… to accept first that we are sinners so that we can strive to do away with sin and face the grace that God is offering us. We need first to realize that we are filled up with pimples before we go to a facial clinic. We need to realize first that we are dark skinned before we decide to apply glutathione and other whitening solutions. We have to look at the mirror first and realize how ugly we are before we finally decide to commit that irreversible decision of killing our own selves shouting at the top of our lungs that nobody loves us!
I do not expect you to be a changed person and be a better one than your old self. However, I am hopeful that, if our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus will help us realize that we are all sinners, that will make me very happy because, at least with that, I am assured that we are on the right track towards a real transformation and renewal. Maybe, after that first step, we are not far from realizing our goal which is nothing else but to be able to put on the Heart of Christ.
O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!