Thus says the Lord: I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord God, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you. For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live in the land I gave your ancestors;you shall be my people, and I will be your God
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
There are many days I encounter a person, task, or choice and say, “I wish I acted differently. I wish I could see this person/task/choice through different eyes, but my heart is in the wrong place.” Needless to say, the heart is the hub of our emotion and in a sense, the gateway to our thoughts and self. The heart is the vault of love. If I love God with my whole heart, I do not mean with emotional love. Rather, with all my emotion, thoughts, and action working for his greater glory. In the moments I find it difficult to love others, I am not loving God with my whole heart either. During moments of great love for others, I show God’s great love as well.
For Catholics, the Sacred Heart of Christ represents the unmitigated love, compassion, and suffering of the heart of Christ for His people. We strive to be the presence of the Heart of Christ. In today’s reading, we hear the Lord say, “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you.” He transforms our hearts through our complete trust in him. His forgiveness and life-giving spirit fill our renewed hearts. Though there will be times we will fall into sin and fail to love, God continues to work within our hearts as we live the presence of the Heart of Christ.
—Lisa M. Sroka coordinates retreats and designs marketing materials for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. She is a Chicago vocalist and alum of Loyola University Chicago.
Glorious Lord Christ: the divine influence secretly diffused and active in the depths of matter, and the dazzling centre where the innumerable fibres of the manifold meet: power as implacable as the world and as warm as life; you whose forehead is of the whiteness of snow, whose eyes are of fire, and whose feet are brighter than molten gold; you whose hands imprison the stars; you who are the first and the last, the living and the dead and the risen again; you who gather into your exuberant unity every mode of existence—it is you to whom my being cries out with a desire as vast as the universe: “In truth you are my Lord and my God”
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!