When I was a small boy, I wanted to be a doctor and my father encouraged me to dream that dream. So he brought me toys and one of those toys was a toy stethoscope. You know what is a stethoscope. You put two plugs into your ears and then there is a little bell that you put on the chest and then you would be able to hear the pounding of the heart. It was my first time to hear my own heart beating. It was amazing. It was a little bit complicated but it was also very fascinating. And as I grew older, I came to understand that it is not only my heart that is complicated and fascinating. All hearts are complex and fascinating but even more, the heart of Jesus is quite complex but very fascinating. What does the heart of Jesus invite us to do? Only one thing- To listen to the beating of that heart. To listen to that heart and like the beloved disciple at the first Eucharist. To lean our head our ears on the chest of the Lord and then listen to the beating of that heart.
That is intimacy.
Sweetly will rest on Thy Sacred Heart. That is our first invitation from the Lord, “Come to me with your ears close to my chest and listen to the beating of my heart.” That is what intimacy is. That is what love is. Who leaned his head on the chest of the Lord? The beloved disciple. The beloved disciple was not named because the beloved disciple is all of us. All of us are being called to put our ears close to his chest like our human stethoscope. And listen to the beating heart complicated and yet fascinating. How? I have no better Tagalog word than “isandal” hindi “isubsob” (“rest one’s head” not “bury one’s face”).
We know what “isubsob” (bury one’s face) means – when you put your face on the chest of somebody, you would not be able to breathe and you would not be able to see anything. That is not what the Lord is asking us to do, but to rest our head, our ears on His chest. Why do we have to do that? So that even if we hear the beating of his heart, our eyes are still looking out. In other words, the call for intimacy also calls for mission. As we hear the beating of the Lord’s heart, our eyes are on the world and we want to bring Jesus to the world.
That is the first meaning of Devotion to the Sacred Heart – To grow in intimacy with the Lord and hear the beating of the complicated, amazing, fascinating heart and yet never forget the true Devotion to the Sacred Heart should lead us to become social engagers, social missionaries restoring all things in Christ. When you hear the beating of the heart of the Lord, what can you do but leave behind our divisions. When we are tempted to be jealous, we are tempted to be skeptical, to be cynical the beating of the Lord’s heart just tells us to increase our love, to increase our compassion, to increase our goodness.
There was an old man who was sitting by a stream and he saw a scorpion struggling to get out of the water. And the old man tried to scoop the water in order to save the scorpion and as soon as the scorpion was scooped from the water, it started to sting the hand of the old man but he would drop out of instinct but he would scoop again until his hand his whole arm was already red because of the sting of the scorpion. His grandchild passed by and said – Lolo, what are you doing? I’m trying to save the scorpion from drowning but it keeps on biting me and the grandchild said – Lolo, the scorpion will keep on biting you. Stop it. And the grandfather, the wise old man, said if it is the nature of the scorpion to sting, why should I change my nature to save? If it has become the nature of the world to bite one another, to kill one another, why should I change my nature to love, my nature to be merciful, my nature to be compassionate? We have community pantries. People are fighting over the food trying to get as much as they can even if everybody seems to be living in a culture of scarcity. The Sacred Heart of Jesus invites you to enter into a culture of abundance, that his blessings will never run out. The beating of His heart will never stop and His love will always be there for you. If it is the nature of the world to fight, if it is the nature of the world to kill, to terrorize, to hurt one another…If it is the nature of the world to cheat, to steal, the curse, to be vulgar, with one another, why should we change our nature to be polite, to be merciful, to be giving, to be sharing? My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, listen to the beating of that heart and if you hear the beating of that heart, you will have no other choice but to imitate that heart and love like that heart, serve like that heart. Heart of Jesus make our hearts like unto thine. Amen.