June 24, 2022 – Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062422.cfm)
I remember my late grandmother when I was younger. Together with my cousins, we were gathered in the living room of our grandparent’s home for some celebration. Then, suddenly our grandmother, we called her Nanay Iyay, was looking for her eye glasses. She kept looking for the glasses until she grew tired and suspected one of us grandchildren played with it and hid it from her, as some of us really were naughty at that time. That was the automatic presumption of Nanay Iyay until she got really annoyed. And most of us were laughing at our grandmom which made her mad, until one of us told her, “Nanay, try touching your head.” And when Nanay Iyay touched her head, there she found her glasses.
Yes, we naturally look and search for something or someone that we have lost. But how could we find something if it is not lost after all? This happened with our late Nanay Iyay who was searching for her eye glasses that was never been lost. Indeed, our search for God is useless because we tend to search God outside, instead of recognizing Him in our very life, in our very human experiences.
On this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us discover together how God invites us today.
In the first reading from the Book of Ezekiel and the Gospel of Luke present to us an image of God that Jesus wants to show to us today. Ezekiel affirms that it is God who searches and leads back those that have gone astray. In the parable, Jesus also tells us of the Shepherd who seeks the lost until he finds the lost sheep.
This image of God tells us of a God who searches for the lost, the broken and the wounded. Thus, God never lost His way. In fact, it is us who will be lost. We are the sheep in the stories who are driven by our selfish desires, lost by our fears, who hid because of our shame and guilt, who retreated because of our wounded heart.
Like the sheep, we might also wander to the other side thinking that there is security in addictions and vices, in depression and loneliness, in anger and hatred. Yet, we are wrong. The moment we step into these traps, then, we are lost. And this becomes a refusal to God’s invitation to be free and to have the fullness of life.
Thus, Jesus leads us to God who invites us and searches for us not just once but in every opportunity in our life. Again, in the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet proclaims to us the heart of God that cares, heals and gives life. In the same way, our Responsorial Psalm beautifully captures the assurance we have with God, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.” We won’t be needing anything because God gives us the fullness of life.
This is also what St. Paul tells in his Letter to the Romans that this fullness of life is indeed possible despite the failures or mistakes, sins and guilt that we have. Yet, it will only be possible through the grace of reconciliation that is being expressed in a love that heals the brokenhearted and that binds up the wounded.
With all of these, the message of this feast is summed up in this– that God has a heart that seeks and longs for us and will not give up on us, no matter what, because we are always so dear to Him. Indeed, love is the language of the Sacred Heart of Jesus expressed in God’s desire to search and to find us so that we will be given with the fullness of life.
These are at least three take aways that I want you to remember now.
First, allow the Lord to search and find us. We can do this by always being aware of God’s presence and also by being humble enough to acknowledge our failures and guilt.
Second, allow the Lord to lead us where he wants us to be. God only desires that we will be able to live life fully, hence, we may be able to identify what we only want from what God wants for us.
Third, be available for others. The very heart of Jesus only means love and by being available for others, is an expression of that love. As you realize your dreams and hopes, be available for others by building friendships, by reaching out and giving life to others as the heart of Jesus has done to us. Kabay pa.