This blog was started on July 21st, 2015, after my Mary, Our Mother blog had mysteriously disappeared. I will post only Marian items, especially regarding Medjugorje and other Marian apparitions. Thank you for reading this blog. May it give great glory to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
QUEEN OF PEACE
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Mary TV June 7, 2016 Reflection - Many signs of His love!
Sacred Heart of Jesus with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(c) Mateo Ivankovic 2016
June 7, 2016
Dear Family of Mary!
"...You who are seeking my Son are seeking the good way. He left many signs of His love..." (June 2, 2016)
Jesus has lefts many signs of His love for us, in our Church, such as the sacraments which are "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is 'dispensed' to us." (CCC 1131) Jesus is with us in the Eucharist in the most amazing sign of all. He is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is here that we learn His humanity.
Fr. Leon gave an incredible "Musing" about Jesus' humanity as the greatest sign that Jesus gave us to show us His love. I want to transcribe it because I think it is so very important. So here it goes:
Praised be Jesus Christ! Hello, I am Fr. Leon, speaking to you from Medjugorje. Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At first glance it might seem odd to celebrate a particular organ of Our Lord. We don't celebrate the other parts of Our Lord, not really, His liver or pancreas...I am not saying this to be facetious or frivolous. But we need to think about this, because we are familiar with the idea. Most of us who have grown up as Catholics are familiar with the idea of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. And yet we need to stand back and look at it and see the strangeness of it.
Why the Heart? Well, first of all the heart is symbolically the seat of our choice and of our loving. Because love is an act of the will. So the heart is seen as the seat of the will. Not that we use our physical hearts to do this, and yet we somehow attribute it to the heart.
And of course when we suffer grief of some kind, we actually feel it through some sort of psycho-somatic link as a heaviness in the chest, almost like a broken heart indeed. A sore and wounded heart.
The Heart of Christ was pierced for us when He hung upon the cross. It was pierced in death, St. John tells us, and water and blood flowed out. And these are the symbols of the Holy Spirit flowing forth from Christ, from the Heart of Christ. A symbol of the Sacraments, the power of the Sacraments which come through the power of what Jesus did for us on the cross. And here we are taking the Heart of Jesus as a symbol for all of Jesus and worshiping it. And we are quite right to worship it.
But the first thing we can say about a heart is that it is human! And juxtaposing it with the word "sacred", when we say the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" we are saying the "Sacred Humanity of Christ." Think about how God could have saved us. God is God. He could do whatever He likes. He could, with a snap of His fingers, not that He has fingers, but I mean that figuratively...He could have with just His will, save us in any way He chose. But what He chose is this way.
There is that famous verse that Protestants and Evangelicals like to quote from John 3:16. You see this all over the place, bus stops, football stadiums, wherever: "For God so loved that world that He gave His only begotten Son..." Now, that word "so" doesn't mean "so much" although God does love us so much! It means in Greek, God loved the world "this way". That is the translation of "so" - "in this way". This is how God loved us, that He gave us His Son!
God stoops down to our level. He becomes a human being to save us as humans. That is, He doesn't treat us as though we are angels or as though we are just dumb animals. He treats us as exactly what we are, human beings, rational animals, and that is what we are! He becomes one of us so that we could see and find God through Him. Through one of us! Because He becomes one of us.
Tertullian tells us way back in the second century, "The flesh is the hinge of salvation." Because God chooses to save us through a human nature that He assumes and makes His own. God truly becomes one of us. So what I am saying is that instead of God snapping His metaphorical fingers and saving us just like that, He does it in a way that we can see and touch and feel in a way suitable to us.
Gerard Manley Hopkins in a beautiful poem called, "The Virgin Mary Compared to the Air We Breathe", says that Christ is like the light of the sun which is blinding and that Our Lady is like the atmosphere that shields us from the suns blinding rays. And He says that through her, Christ has been "sifted to suit our sight." Made apt for us. Through His flesh made suitable in such a way that we could understand.
If all we have is an idea of God, it is a terrifying idea. But instead God comes to us as a baby! As the Baby in Bethlehem. As a man. As a man that we can identify with. As a man who dies, who suffers and dies on the cross. A man who eats with sinners. A man who calls us to follow Him. A Man who surprises us and disturbs us. But still a man! Someone we can relate to.
This is why in the Litany of the Sacred Heart, there are beautiful descriptions. It says, "Heart of Jesus, bruised for our sins..." Then one I remember at the age of 16 or 17 being fascinated by this one, "Heart of Jesus, hypostatically united to the Word of God..." I remember wondering what "hypostatically" could possibly mean. It means quite simply this: It is not that God and human nature blend and form a third thing. Like some sort of Chimera, some sort of weird creature. No. Jesus is not a blend or a combination of human and divine. Rather, Jesus is 100 percent human and 100 percent divine. And the person WHO He is, is divine. It is God Himself. God in human form. In a human nature. That is what hypostatically united means.
So can we say, for example, God was born of the Virgin Mary? Yes, because who was born? You ask the question, Who? Who is Jesus? He is God. And was He born of Mary? Yes, therefore God was born of the Virgin Mary. Now we don't mean that Mary gave Jesus His existence as God. No. No one does that for God. But who she gave birth to is God. Did God cry? Yes. Did God need help? Did God need to be fed as a baby, and clothed and washed? Yes. Did God grow up? Did God learn? Yes. Did God suffer in the Garden at Gethsemane? Did God sweat blood and tears? Did He cry tears? Was He lonely? Was he afraid? Did He weep at the death of His friend Lazarus? Yes. Did God suffer on the Cross? Yes. Did God suffer when He was scourged, and crowned with thorns, and mocked and spat upon? Yes. Did God die on the cross? Yes. Because the One who died is God. That is what hypostatic unity means, that the One, the person who does all these things in His human nature is God! God Himself. The Word of God. The Son of God. But it is God.
So on this feast, when we celebrate the Sacred Heart we are saying that God's immense love for us, God's Divine Majesty, which is so terrifying and awesome and filled with splendor, has become "sifted to suit our sight" as Gerard Manley Hopkins says. And it becomes something that we can approach, and feel and touch, and see. He loves us so much that He wants us to see that love for us. He suffers something that He doesn't even need to suffer. He suffers an indignity in death, and after He is dead, His Heart is opened up for us so that we can see this. And He shows it, after His resurrection, He shows His wounds to Thomas, and also takes his hands and says "put it in My side," and says, "A ghost does not have flesh as you see I have." "Doubt no longer but believe!" "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
And it is for this reason that the Apostle, St. John, in his letter says, "What we have seen and touched, what we have heard, this is what we proclaim to you." The Catholic faith is based on this. On physically touching, seeing, tasting, God Himself who has been "sifted to suit our sight". And of course this is the same thing that happens to us now in the Sacraments. Why do we need Sacraments? Because we are human. The Sacraments are for the living, for those who are still "in via", who are still in the flesh. And we need something "sifted to suit our sight." In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Fr. Leon's Musing for June 4, 2016 - found at this link: http://www.marytv.tv/featured-programing/medugorje-musings-from-fr-leon )
So, these are the many signs of love that Jesus has left us. They are all found in His person, both human and divine!
Jesus, we love you! Thank you for your signs of love. They are salvation for us!