As Catholics we are “Trinitarians”.
We are more Trinitarian than we probably realize. Just look at the way we begin prayer, “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” We actually make the sign of Jesus’ Cross on our foreheads, chest and across our shoulders, reminding ourselves of the three Divine persons of God.
When we baptize, we do it exactly the way Jesus taught us in the final paragraph of the Gospel of Matthew,
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”
As per Jesus’ instructions, we are baptized into the fullness of God, the entire Holy Trinity. Later, in the Acts of the Apostles, we see that St. Paul discovered some who were baptized with the baptism of St. John the Baptist, or in the name of Jesus. He discovered that those baptized don’t receive the Holy Spirit. So, St. Paul baptized them and they receive the Holy Spirit. They became Trinitarians, also in their Trinitarian baptism.
There is another dimension to consider as Trinitarians. Jesus is totally human, and totally God. It is a mystery that we can’t explain, but we can witness it in Scripture. God took flesh and became human in the womb of the Virgin Mary when the Holy Spirit came to her. When Jesus ascended to the Father, a completely human person, with a human heart, he was reunited with God in the Holy Trinity. There is a human being in the Holy Trinity, and he is Jesus Christ, the son of Mary. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is both fully human and fully Divine in the Holy Trinity.
When we consider and begin to learn more about THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS, we are presented two sides of a coin. However, we tend to only consider one side of the coin.
Let’s not forget that Jesus was fully human, and Jesus was fully God. Jesus’ heart was also fully human and fully Divine, as well.
We tend to focus upon the Divine love side of his Sacred Heart, that Jesus’ love for us is God’s infinite love. He loves us despite our weaknesses and sin, even when we ignore him or turn our backs to him. He is always ready to forgive us when we seek him with sincere repentance. That is one side of the coin.
However, the other side of the coin is also important. It is Jesus’ human heart, now risen and ascended back to the Father. Jesus also experiences the pain of a human heart, just like we do. When we are slighted, insulted, ignored or barely recognized it hurts us. The same happens with Jesus. When we are disliked or injured, it hurts us, just like our injustice and indifference hurts Jesus. The same things that hurt us also hurt Jesus. When we do something special for someone, care or love another person, and they do not appreciate it, it hurts us. The same thing happens to Jesus. This is the other side of the coin that we discover in our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He asks us to do penance and make reparation for our insults to his love.
If we want to grow closer to Jesus, we must understand, also, what hurts him, just like we do when we want to grow closer to another person whom we come to love. We need to learn to make reparation to him, just like we make reparation to those we love on earth. If we wish to grow closer to Jesus we must also share the pain and lack of appreciation, the slander and attacks he experienced in the beginning, and still experiences today.
How must he feel when people seek other things as more important than him? How must he feel when we ignore him? When we choose to miss Mass, or don’t attempt to receive him in Holy Communion, after he gave his life for us, it hurts him. Or when we commit sin that separates us from him, but refuse to seek reconciliation in Confession, it hurts him. These things deeply hurt Jesus. It’s as if you invite a friend to your home for dinner, and they accept your invitation, but then they don’t show up. That hurts.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus requires us to attempt to grow in understanding of his Heart, both his infinite love for us AND the pain he feels every day when we ignore him or allow our selfishness to make him less important in our lives. These are the two sides of the coin we need to keep in mind when we consider the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus invites us into a deeper relationship with him. As we pray and enter more deeply into this relationship, St. Margaret Mary reminds us that his heart loves us, but also feels the same pains we feel. Our devotion to the Sacred Heart should recognize the pain in his heart, as well, and lead us into a deeper relationship with Jesus, in the Holy Trinity, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.