The Heart – Ordinary 11C Friday

Each of you has a big heart.  Because God created each of you with a big heart.  When I say  heart, I don’t just mean your feelings.  While feelings can be useful, they are also unreliable.  Feelings are but one aspect of the heart.  As scripture makes very clear, the heart is the seat of the whole person: the seat of their intelligence, free will, memory, conscience, feelings of course, and very importantly their appreciation of what is good, true and beautiful.  

Problems begin however when we think our heart is smaller than it is, or less important than it is: when we look to fill our heart with things that cannot fill it, since they are limited, and cannot last.  The effect of course is a negative one: for us personally, because we find ourselves unsatisfied, and can end up ever increasingly trying more and more radical means of trying to fill that gap; and also for others, who are affected by our behaviour, and ultimately we can hurt in trying to fill our heart with inappropriate things.  And we see this in the tragic story of Athaliah in the First Reading today.  What she valued before else was power.  So once her son died, and she would have lost her power behind the throne, she did what she could to retain her treasure – power: and so ended up killing all other heirs to the throne.  Her own family – she ended up destroying her own family.

This is why Jesus is at such pains this morning, he pleads with me and with you: please, Do not store up treasures for yourself on earth.  Do not pretend you heart can be filled with things, or power or money or skills, or even people.  The love of others is good, and important to us – but no human being’s love for us can never be enough to satisfy us.  Because even the love of a human being is imperfect, and sometimes unreliable, and limited.  Only the heart of Jesus is absolutely reliable at all times, and perfectly loving us, in calm and in storm.  Build your lives on the love of God, and your relationship with God in daily prayer, weekly Mass, and monthly confession – and you fill find perfect happiness.