16. HEART OF JESUS IN WHICH THE FATHER IS WELL PLEASED
Twice did the Father declare that He was well pleased with His Son: at the Jordan and on Mount Tabor. The Lord God had all reasons to be pleased with Jesus because He was always eager to do the Father's Will to the point of accepting to die on the Cross in fulfillment of the Divine Plan of Salvation. That was the highest test, and Jesus passed it with flying colors.
How different was the situation in the history of mankind when people who had received so much from God dared to ignore His clear orders and to prefer, instead, to follow the devil's temptation! From the Garden of Eden to the latest crime committed on the surface of the earth, we have an endless string of rebellions against God.
And we are part of that ugly chain of cases of unfaithfulness. We belong to the crowd of those who have displeased God. If we want to hear the consoling, affirming sentence, "You are my child, in whom I am well pleased," we have only one thing to do: imitate the example of our perfect Model, Jesus, the faithful servant and Son. Then, will the Father be pleased with us, too!
17. HEART OF JESUS OF WHOSE FULLNESS WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED
One of the great worries of the industrialized world is the gradual decrease of non-renewable sources of energy, such as oil and coal. No matter how vast the deposits of these non-renewable sources of energy may be, everybody knows that we are heading toward their depletion, with the consequent crisis this will usher in. Hence, the worry and the search for "alternative sources of energy".
This fear of an end of the "great bonanza" does not apply to moral and spiritual energies. In a special manner, it does not apply to the fullness of love, grace, and life that the Heart of Jesus is. These "spiritual riches" are, indeed, the essential content of the "fullness" we are reflecting upon in this invocation.
It is the fullness that John talks about at the beginning of His Gospel when he proclaims that God's only Son was "full of grace and truth" and that "from His fullness we have all received" (Jn 1:14b. 16).
It is the fullness of "spiritual water" - the Grace of the Holy Spirit - which Jesus promises the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:14); the fullness of life which Jesus offers to all those who believe in Him when He states, ""I have come that they may have life and life to the full" (Jn 10:10). This is the "inexhaustible fullness" we all have been enriched with.
18. HEART OF JESUS, DEEPEST DESIRE OF THE HUMAN HEART
Lover seeks lover. It is the nature of love to bring people to union and, when they are far part, to intensely desire to be together and nothing makes us happier than the fulfillment of such a yearning. This is true of the love that binds human beings. It is especially true of the love that binds God and us.
This is always verified with regard to God's love for us. He wants to be close to us, to ne part of our lives, our plans, our aspirations and even our difficulties. The signs of such desire are numberless for those who know how to read the alphabet of God's communication to us. The greatest and clearest sign of God's love for mankind is Jesus Christ, and His Heart is the core of it all.
It is in the Heart of Jesus - a heart afire with love, crowned with thorns and pierced by a lance - that we have the proof of how much God loves us. That same Heart teaches us, too, how much we should love God and yearn to be united with Him. All the Saints of the past and of the present, starting with Mary Most Holy, "have learned the lesson" and lived its message with great intensity, as they constantly sought to know His Love ever better and to be united with Him ever more.
19. HEART OF JESUS, PATIENT AND ABOUNDING IN MERCY
Patience is a sign and proof of love. We can see this most eloquently in the patience that parents, and especially mothers, have with their children - the way they put up with their whims and naughtiness, and even with their occasional aggressiveness and lack of love.
God is immensely more patient with us than the most patient of all mothers because He loves us more than any mother loves her child. And Jesus, with His loving and merciful Heart, is the clearest sign of God's patient love. We see His immense patience in the way He treats His hard-headed Disciples.
It is especially in His attitude toward sinners and enemies that the loving patience of His Heart becomes Mercy and Compassion. We see that in the way He treated the sinful woman caught in adultery and the prostitute who bathed His feet with her tears; in the way He conquered Zacchaeus, in the forgiveness he extended to Peter and the other Disciples who deserted Him; and in His praying for those who were crucifying Him.
Jesus wants that we, too, become as merciful as He was. He said to His Disciples, "Blessed are the merciful. They will be shown mercy" (Mt 5:7).
20. HEART OF JESUS, GENEROUS TO ALL WHO CALL UPON YOU
Generosity is another practical sign of love. And the most generous of all is the Lord God. He has manifested His generosity by giving mankind not only the whole of creation, but also the call to live with Him for ever. And when the human beings forfeited that unique privelege through their sinfulness, He sent His only Son, "born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law ..." (Gal 4:4 and also Jn 3:16).
And throughout His life, God's incarnate Son revealed the depth of the Father's generosity by changing jars of water into exquisite wine and by feeding hungry crowds; by granting the request for healing addressed to Him be lepers and other sick people. He restored the sight to blind persons, saved His frightened Disciples who were about to drown, and promised Paradise to the repentant thief on the Cross.
But the greatest signs of Christ's generosity were His offering His life for the salvation of all human beings, His instituting the Eucharist, and His giving the Holy Spirit to His Disciples that they might be guided to all truth, consoled in their troubles, and restored to God's grace through the ministry of the Church.
The generosity of His Heart is a constant invitation for us to do likewise.
LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS, PART III
The Messenger of Divine Love
Volume II, Number 3