Sunday, 15 June 2008

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Deut 19:2-6; Mt 9:36-10:8; Rom 5:6-11
I want to say a few words about what God is like, which is a bold thing to be claiming to know: There are many people today who think that you cannot know what God is like. But Scriptures tell us, and the miracles prove it, in particular, His rising from the dead proves it. But WHAT does it prove? What does it show?

Well, to know what God is like, to know His heart, we can look to passages in the Old Testament, like the one we just heard from Deuteronomy. It tell us how God cared for His chosen People, “I carried you on eagles wings and brought you to myself” –he didn’t just care for them distantly but brought them to Himself.

In the Gospel, when God finally became a man, He revealed Himself fully. He took on a human body, a human heart, with real human emotions, and those emotions pulsed with the heart of God Himself –revealing what God is like. So when we see the emotions of Jesus revealed in the Gospel texts, we see the heart of God. What did it reveal in today’s Gospel text? Compassion: “When Jesus saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected”.

And what really PROVES what the Heart of God is like is indicated in our letter to the Romans: “what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners”.

But the sad truth is that although God has revealed Himself, the world has taken little notice. Even we in here in Church take little enough notice.

What more can God do? Well, one thing He has done is to repeat that revelation in countless private apparitions and visions. This month of June is the month of the Sacred Heart, when we recall in particular that devotion to the Sacred Heart that comes to us largely via visions to St Margaret Mary in 17th Century France.

Those visions of the Sacred Heart contained a message:
That He is today what He revealed before;
That He loves, and yet is ignored;
That He weeps, and is not consoled;
That He has a Heart, and we behave as if He did not.

Those visions ask of us:
That we repent and turn to Him, rather than continue to offend His love;
That we make Reparation to His Heart for the offences against it
That we make little sacrifices of love to Him
Sacrifices for our own sins, and for the sins of others.

God didn’t need to take on a human heart, He didn’t need to feel human emotions
He didn’t need to make Himself vulnerable
But He has done so because it somehow reveals who He is,
because it might awaken a response from us.

And He promises that if we turn to His Heart, devote ourselves to His Heart,
He will give us many blessings, as listed in the newsletter.

So, to return to where I began; What is God like? He has told us. Thus he is known, but not exhausted. His ways are not our ways, and He is more than our small minds can grasp. We only know Him by analogy and symbol, BUT, nonetheless, we do TRULY know Him because He has revealed Himself to us.
And the symbol more than any other that shows Him is His Heart.
A Heart that yearns to be known, yearns to be loved, and yearns to be loved by US.

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