The Sacred Heart and Reparation…
(from a June 1, 1975 conference)

Our Lord is the same yesterday, today and for ever.  He does not change His character at all.  It is true that He is in a very different state since He rose from the dead, but what He feels in His Heart for you and me is not different from what He felt in His Heart for those He met in Palestine.  By reading in the Bible how Jesus felt and acted towards people, we can see how He feels and acts towards us.  But there is more to it than that.  The Bible is not just an account of what happened in Christ’s life on earth.  Holy Scripture is the living word of God.  When we read in the Gospel that Jesus healed this sick person, or that He forgave that wicked person, or that He instructed this ignorant person, or had patience with that dull-witted one, it is not just a bit of instruction as to how He behaved in order that we can deduce what He felt like.  When you read in Scripture what Jesus did in a certain case, Our Lord Himself is telling you about it.  He is telling you how He feels about you.  Or He is telling you how He feels about someone else you know, about your neighbor.  When you read the Gospel with humility, simplicity and faith, Our Lord is opening the secrets of His Sacred Heart to you.  He is offering Himself to you and pleading with you to give yourself to Him.  He wants you to have one heart and mind with Him.  Our Lord lived for us and wants us to live for Him.
The things Our Lord said when He was on earth were the words of God.  The feelings He expressed were the feelings of God.  The things recorded in the Gospels are not just local and temporal in their significance.  As we hear them read in Church, or as we ponder over them in our prayerful thoughts, they touch us with a vital effect.  We receive a special grace that God intended for us from the beginning.

If we contemplate God in the Person of Jesus Christ, we see Him in various different circumstances.  They show us how God feels.  They reveal His Heart to us.  If we watch Him weeping when His friend Lazarus died, it shows us how much He must be grieved when we or any other friend of His dies by sin.  If we see Jesus surprised and delighted by the outstanding faith and trust of a Roman Centurion for whom He afterwards works a miracle, it shows us how we can delight His Heart and win great blessings if we show great faith.  If we see Our Lord full of joy in the Spirit because the Father has show His truth to little ones, uncomplicated people like the Apostles, we can understand His joy when He finds unimportant people like you and me believing the wonderful truths and deeds of God.

Jesus is joined to us through His Sacred Heart.  That Heart regulates our relationship with God.  If we are invited to do something for God, it is the loving, compassionate and sensitive Heart of Christ that longs for us to do it.  If we turn away from any invitation to come closer, we sadden the Heart of Christ as did the rich young man who was invited to be a perfect disciple after Jesus had looked at him and loved him.

The theme of reparation to Our Lord is very rarely mentioned these days.  We are not often urged to make little sacrifices and do voluntary extra good works to make up to Our Lord for the coldness and indifference and refusals of so many of those to whom He gives invitations.  If we really love Him, surely we shall be not only saddened when we see someone insult or disobey or ignore the love Jesus has for him, but we shall want to make up for that coldness or indifference or sin.  If we look at Our Lord in tears as He sees the destruction coming to His beloved people in Jerusalem because they have not received Him into their hearts, surely we shall try to make it up to Him.  What sort of destruction is coming to people He loves these days when so many even of His chosen ones desert Him?  Surely we can make reparation.  Surely we can and ought to comfort the Heart of Christ.  If we were to love Him twice as much, pray twice as much, serve Him twice as much to make up for someone else who let Him down, would not that be a good expression of our love for Him?  And might not God accept our extra reparation-offering and move that unfaithful person to repent and give his love to Jesus after all?

If our union with God is found in the Heart of Christ, our closest union with that wounded Heart is found in the Eucharist.  The more we love Jesus in our liturgy, and the more we are united with others in that greatest work of the Church, the more we make up to Our Lord for the great coldness and indifference He receives from so many people in this part of the world, and for the active hatred He receives in other parts of the world.

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