Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Psalm 103; 1John 4:7-16; Matthew 11:25-30
Heart is the basic theme in today’s gospel reading. The Heart is an ancient concept in the Bible. It occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Bible. It denotes a person’s center for both physical, emotional, intellectual, and moral activities. Sometimes it is used figuratively for any inaccessible thing. Basically, the heart connotes love or affection. Thus, the basic attitude of Jesus’ heart is one of unconditional love, not hatred. The sacred heart of Jesus is the symbol and sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which prompts us to make a return of love. Jesus has a human heart, able to love and was compassionate.
The first and second readings present us with God’s love as the sole motivation why God chose the people of Israel over and above other nations. Yet time and again, they never returned that love. What kind of heart were they having? The bible says in Ps.77:37 “their hearts were not truly with him, they were not faithful to his covenant”. Is.29:13, says that “this people draw near with their mouth and honour me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me”. Thus, they never had a godly heart.
Today, what kind of heart do we have? For those with a troubled heart, Jesus says in the gospel come to me and I will give rest. For those with a wicked heart, men who have dedicated their hearts to occult covenants and devilish temples; those whose hearts are far from God and has no space for affection and love. Jesus says; “learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in hearts, and you will find rest for your souls”. Jesus can renew our hearts and make it capable of loving God and our brothers and sisters. Today we pray for a spiritual heart transplantation in the words of Ezekiel 36:26 where God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto thine!
. — St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
from the book
Devotion To The Sacred Heart
by Fr. John Croiset, S.J.