(NOTE: This transcription has been automatically generated through an AI program. Consequently, this transcript may not match everything you hear in the podcast episode, and it may contain errors such as spelling, grammar, word choice, etc., due to the limitations of current AI technology.)
Hi everyone, welcome to this week’s episode of Midnight Carmelite. I wanted to discuss the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Cross, given that this Friday is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I felt it was an appropriate podcast. So let’s get started. We discussed the Cross last week and embracing our Cross daily, but we have to remember that the Cross is obviously related to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So on one hand you have the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, by which we lost Eden, lost heaven, lost life with God, it broke the relationship.
But then on the other tree which Peter mentions in the Acts of the Apostles when Christ is lifted up, that tree is what reunites us to God. So the Cross is crucial to understanding the mystery of the Sacred Heart and Scripture as well as a devotion. Couple things here: Jesus freely went to the cross and this is something worthy of meditation. He didn’t have to go to the cross. He didn’t have to die for us, but he freely chose to and you know, he probably even hear this saying, “he freely died for our sins.”
But I would invite you to focus on the word “freely.” God didn’t need to come and save us. Jesus didn’t need to come. The Word never needed to become flesh. This was positively willed. This was, “I love them and I cannot leave them in their state. So therefore, I freely, meaning with no impetus from any one else besides myself, meaning my own free will, I am going to act and go and die for them on the cross to save them.” So paradoxically, what happens when Jesus does this is that the cross becomes his throne, really it becomes the highest point of Christ.
His whole life leads the cross as Bishop Sheen says, you know, the shadow of the cross is always over Christ’s life because it’s his τέλος, it is where he is going, you know when he talks to Nicodemus and he says as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up. Also, earlier, he was talking to Nicodemus about how you could be born again. So again you see this where this connection of our eternal life in the Cross keeps coming up over and over in Christ’s life in the gospels.
Another example would be when the Greeks wanted to see Christ, he uses his, as Bishop Sheen said, he uses a natural analogy. He says if the grain of wheat should fall to the ground and not die, it remains alone, it remains a grain of wheat, but if it should die, then it will grow and publicly bear much fruit. Again, he’s foreshadowing the cross. So when you think of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the point where he is pierced: his side into his heart.
All his life was moving to this point, all his life was moving to the cross and then ultimately to allowing his heart to be pierced by a lance. From on the cross, completely removed of everything from his birth, he gave his mother away to John, he forgave the people who were killing him. Father forgive them, they know not what they do. He saved the thief. He ultimately said, it is completed, and then he gives his spirit to his Father and he dies.
But then still, even after that, he allows the soldier to pierce him in his side and then blood and water immediately flows out. So let’s turn to that passage real quick in the Greek. So what it says in the Greek here. So, however, having come to Jesus when they had seen that he had already having been dead. So, the idea here, a couple things. The first is the Greek word is a stronger form of θάνατος.
The same Greek word here is what’s used in John 11, when Lazarus comes from out from the tomb, Jesus calls him and it says the one having been dead came out of the tomb with the linens all over him and Jesus said unbind him. So the word for dead here is something that’s been laying dead. So it’s not just having died in that moment, it’s been dead for some time. So Jesus had been dead for a period of time here. So that’s something first to point out. So he’s hanging on the cross already dead.
He’d given his spirit to his father, he’s still hanging there dead. They did not break his legs, but one of the soldiers, so from you know, being really literal be from among one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear and immediately blood and water came out. This is really important. I think there’s two parts here. The first is his body is still there, his sacred body and he allows it to be pierced. But then we get the evidence: “So how much did Jesus love us?”
Everything. Because blood and water came pouring out. Everything was given. Physically, spiritually, every he gave his entire self to us and we see this giving body, blood, soul, and divinity the Eucharist obviously, so there’s another part to meditate on here, but by giving it by giving everything and then the word immediately appears in the Gospel. It wasn’t like they pierced him and then you know the blood water didn’t come out right away. No it was, it was waiting to come out. Everything he had given was waiting.
And even in death, even laying dead, he still was giving. So what does this all mean for this? And like how should we think about this feast? Well we should obviously see the cross as the sign of our saving and redemption. We should obviously see that you know Christ’s Sacred Heart is burning to give us everything. And how can we doubt the love of Jesus based on this evidence? One of the key facts in Carmelite prayer is the idea that when you’re meditating what you’re doing is you’re reflecting on God’s love for us.
So when you see Jesus on the cross, you see this passion, you see the suffering he went through, you see all the blood and water immediately coming out of his Sacred Heart. He gave everything for us on the cross to remove death and allows to achieve eternal life again, he gave evidence, and the gospel is showing us the evidence, the knowledge, that allows us to then from that point of love to say, “oh look at what he did for us” and then love wells up in you. A good example would be this, imagine you have a room in your house and you know you haven’t been cleaning it, maybe it’s a storage room, you haven’t cleaned it, you know, you’re kind of putting it off, you kind of pick here, pick there, then all of a sudden you come home and the room is cleaned completely, organized exactly the way you would need it to be, exactly the way you’d want it to be.
So both need and want, let’s say it’s both are there, right? And you’re going to sit there and say, well how did this happen? And let’s say a family member, a spouse, a friend somehow, someone that cares about you, that loves you in some way comes in and does all that for you. That knowledge, when you see that room, is going to inspire love in you. And I think this analogy is really appropriate for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Again, he allowed his Sacred Heart to be pierced.
He allowed himself to suffer and die on the cross for us. He is burning, he’s yearning for us two to accept his Mercy, accept everything that he gave us there on the cross including his Sacred Heart and take that invitation to love him again, just like the room, we should see this as evidence of God’s love for us and then that knowledge inspires us to love and go out and be more Christ-like and also inspires us to spend time with God in prayer because that’s where we can thank him, that’s where we can love him directly and that’s where he wants us to be so we can grow through our prayer life to be Christ-like in the world that really needs it today.
So thank you all for listening.