For those who are not Catholics, the devotion to Our Lord’s Sacred Heart sometimes seems exotic, and perhaps a little strange. The pictures and statues, like the one, more than a century old in our own church, are sometimes thought garish, and might look more like a medical photograph or a scene from CSI, than an object for devotion.
But the Heart of Jesus is at the very centre, indeed the heart, of the Christian faith. When we talk of God’s love we do not mean an idea, or a feeling, or a concept. When we speak of his love we do not mean words on the page of a book, or well meaning expressions, or vague hopes. God’s love is not something that might be, or could be or ought to be.
If you want to know what God’s love us, consider the heart of Jesus, beating in a human person, showing compassion for the sick, reaching out to those in trouble and distress. Consider the heart of Jesus which rejoiced with the forgiven. Consider the heart of Jesus which suffered the pain of betrayal and desertion, and which knew the joy of healing, resurrection and new life. Consider the heart of Jesus, which bled for us on the cross.
God’s love is not an idea, or a hope, or a feeling. It is action, not idea. It is real, not imagined. It is physical, because in Christianity the spiritual is physical.
God’s love is a heart which aches for us, yearns for us, is broken for us, and which bled for us.