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By opening our hearts to Jesus, we can be guided by Him

 

By Fr Patrick McCafferty

One day, during the course of His ministry, Jesus issued a simple invitation: "Come to me... and I will give you rest... Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart" (see Mt 11:28-30).

Jesus draws us to His heart that we might be taught by Him. We Christians are those who have opened our hearts to Jesus and invited Him to reside there with His Father and the Holy Spirit; but Jesus also opens His heart to us. How beautiful it is to be drawn by Jesus into His heart.

The heart of Jesus is that "cleft in the rock", that "hiding place in the coverts of the cliff" (Song of Songs 2:14) where we can take shelter, where we have a safe haven, where we find the gentleness of our Saviour overflowing to us, like "honey from the rock" (Ps 81:16).

The nature of Almighty God is inaccessible to our humanity - like a sheer precipice impossible to scale. God is "the rock too high for me to reach" (Ps 27:5), but He hears our calling out to Him "from the depths" (Ps 130:1) and, in tender compassion, in His Son, He reaches down and sets us on high.

God becoming human, in His beloved Son, is infinite mercy and love, descending to us in our helplessness and raising us up. Christ lifts us up and takes us into His own loving heart. In and through His heart, we are drawn into the unfathomable depths of God.

"Through Him, in the One Spirit, we have our way to come to the Father" (Eph 2:18). God the Holy Spirit, drawing us into the depths of Jesus' heart, gives us access to "the boundless riches of Christ" (Eph 3:8), which are the eternal unfolding of the Father's infinite love for us.

Embraced in the tender heart of Jesus, we learn that we are beloved children of God (1 John 3:1). The entire goal of God's saving plan is the ending of our alienation from God. Our belonging to Him as His children had been ruptured by sin. Jesus comes to draw us back. His own heart's blood, poured out to the last drop, transfuses the Divine Life that had been lost, into our fallen, dead and estranged nature. After His great victory over Death, the Risen Lord tells St Mary Magdalen to go and find the others and tell them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father" (John 20:17).

In the gentle and humble heart of Jesus, we are reconciled with God the Father. Our brokenness of heart, mind and life is entirely healed in the heart that was pierced for us, rent open by the world's sin and cruelty; but unleashing, in its being torn open, the streams foretold in Scripture that make us glad (Ps 46:4). Those streams are the love and mercy of God.

They come directly from the Father through His Son. These streams are the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit and the fulfilment of Jesus' promise when He cried out one day, "If anyone is thirsty let them come to me and drink …. from their hearts shall flow fountains of living water" (John 7:37-38).

How delightful to hide in Jesus, to rest in His most sacred heart: "How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe, I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe; How often, when trials like sea billows roll, Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul. Hiding in Thee, Thou blest 'Rock of Ages', I'm hiding in Thee."

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