In every civilization the heart is regarded as the  natural  symbol of love and affection. Heart is also  the seat of our  feelings and emotions. All our actions are directed by the thoughts coming fom our heart.  So Jesus warns us to be  careful to keep  our heart  pure at all times, because  what comes out of us, from our heart, will  defile us.

‘Do you not  see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes into the sewer? (Thus he declared all foods clean). And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that  defiles. For  it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come:  fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person’ (Mk 7:18:22).

We say the  heart of  Jesus is sacred. And for us, devotion to the  Sacred Heart of Jesus  has a very special place in our spiritual life. Its purpose is to  return the Lord’s love with gratitude. In other words devotion to the Sacred Heart is in essence complying with the first commandment. ‘You shall love  the Lord your God with all your heart, and with  all your soul, and with all your mind’ (Mt 22:17).

To love Jesus the way he demands from us  is, indeed, a difficult task, because our hearts are  filled  with many things that prevent us from loving Jesus. ‘The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?’ (Jer. 17:9). But the  Lord demands nothing short of a pure heart  from us and  has set it as a pre condition to see his face. ‘Blessed are the  pure in heart, for they will see God’ (Mt 5:8).

Any spiritual exercise  in the name of devotion to the Sacred  Heart of Jesus must lead us to introspect how far is our heart from   the Lord. Often we recite a litany of prayers  in the  vain hope that it will please the Lord. But  the Lord says; This people  honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me…..’ (Mt 15:8-9).

While our  lips praise the Lord, our heart is wandering somewhere else where we have kept the  treasures of this  world. ’For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Mt 6:21).

But our   most valuable  treasure must be Jesus who loved  us to the point of  death. Jesus showed his pierced heart to St Margaret Mary Alacoque and said; ‘Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love’

If the Sacred Heart  of Jesus allowed itself to be  exhausted and consumed to testify  its love towards us, isn’t it our duty to  repay that  love?

June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart and Jesus invites us to  try loving him  with all our heart. Let us consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus   and  make reparations for the indifference and ingratitude shown towards  it by  us.

Let us pray.

Sacred Heart  of Jesus, remove from us our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh to love you.