Under the Mighty Hand of God
Sunday within the Octave of Sacred Heart
We should never forget that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Before God created the heavens and the earth, he existed and he loved. But if there was only God in this otherwise empty universe of eternal nothing, how could he love to the fullest extent? Who else was there to love but himself? The answer is twofold. First of all, we must remember that God is love. The perfection of love. And so it is not an imperfection for him to love himself. Secondly, God is Trinity, three Persons in one God. The Father loves the Son, and the Son his Father, and the love that proceedeth from the Father and the Son is the Holy Ghost. Father and Son loved from all eternity, and will always love, with that perfect love that is divine.
God’s love was so perfect that he wanted to extend the object of his to creatures that he would make out of nothing. Even though these creatures would offend him, betray him, insult him with their wickedness, he so loved the world he created that he sent his only-begotten Son to save us from ourselves. The Incarnation of this Son, when the Word was made flesh and dwelled amongst us, is the living proof of God’s love for us. The love that this Son of God showed for us is beyond our abilities to grasp. Greater love hath no man, than that he lay down his life for his friend. And our blessed Saviour lay down his life not only for one friend or a few dozen friends, but for every single human being who had ever lived and who ever would live in the future. He lay down his life even for those who would reject his love, for those who continue to blaspheme his name, who insult his blessed Mother, who refuse his teachings and so arrogantly defy his commandments. He lay down his life even for his enemies. This is the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Today, like any other day, we are travelers. We journey through life, taking one step after another until we reach our goal. Because, like any journey, our life must have a goal, a destination. If we lose sight of that final end, we drift off course and lose our way. So it’s important to think often and longingly of the heaven that awaits us. And it’s important that we stay on the path of love that leads us there. This love must emulate the love that our Lord showed for us. It must be a love based on sacrifice, which is true love. We must abandon our own will and all the things we want that God would rather we didn’t have—all those sinful desires and the appetites of our fallen human nature, our attachments to worldly goods and so on. We must fight those temptations to seek our own pleasures, our own interests, and make them our ultimate goal. And we must love God instead. “If ye love me, ye will obey my commandments” and the chief of these commandments is simply to love God, to love him with all our heart and mind and strength. All our heart. Like the Sacred Heart is the emblem of God’s love for us, we must make our own heart a mirror image of the Heart of Jesus that is ready to sacrifice everything for the object of its love.
If nothing else, we must try to make up to the Sacred Heart the terrible offences that are committed daily against him. We can never make sufficient reparation for these innumerable and infinitely evil sins. He gave us so much love, and in return man treats him with so much ingratitude, neglect and downright defiance in return. And it’s getting worse. We’re reaching a level of iniquity previously unknown in this world, where not only do people fall into sin, but do so willingly and defiantly, marching proudly in the streets to proclaim their contempt for the God who so loves them that he died for them. It’s beyond our powers of comprehension, and we are overwhelmed with grief when we think on it. And even then, our horror at the sins of others does not prevent us from adding to it with our own failures, our own sins and lukewarm response to the love of the Sacred Heart. May God forgive us for what we do to him!
The Octave of the Sacred Heart lasts until Friday. Even after that, the month of the Sacred Heart continues for another couple of weeks till the end of June. Let’s not waste this opportunity to make reparation in our own small way, through prayer and sacrifice. We owe God so much, and yet we’re prepared to give him so little. Let’s keep the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our minds and do what we can to give him just a little of the gratitude and adoration we owe him.