The phrase “I heart you” has come to be used frequently in our days (and especially on the Social media) to mean “I love you”. Obviously, the heart is a symbol of love, and that is why it is used in lieu of love. “I heart you” as a friend once said to me is “less frightening and depicts true love issuing from the heart (agape), and its often on the safer side, because our world today seems to misinterpret the genuine phrase ‘I love you.'”  I didn’t disagree with him because apparently, the heart is often depicted in art with a figure of “love”; this shows how good a heart ought to be – a heart engulfed in love (agape).

Dear friends, today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. All the three Readings of today (Ezekiel 34:11-16, Romans 5:5-11, Luke 15:3-7) talk about our God who hearts (loves) humanity so much by reaching out for lost souls, as a good shepherd does for his lost sheep. This describes how merciful and compassionate our God can be – his mercy has no end.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the font of love and the wellspring of Mercy. Therefore, being the emblem of love, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is naturally defined. Was it not for the motive of love for humanity that Christ suffered & died? Was not all His inner, even more than His outward life dominated by this love? Put differently, this is the heart that loved us, suffered for us, passed through death, a heart that was pierced with a lance through His side, of which flowed “blood and water” (cf. Jn. 19:34). The Sacred Heart is often depicted in Christian art as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, encircled by the crown of thorns, surmounted by a cross, and bleeding. Sometimes the image is shown shining within the bosom of Christ with his wounded hands pointing at the heart. The wounds and crown of thorns allude to the manner of Jesus’ death, while the fire represents the transformative power of divine love.

Therefore, dearest friends, there are many lessons we ought to learn from our God who hearts us so much. Henceforth, we are called to make reparations to this Sacred Heart that loved and suffered so much for us; for the wounds and sufferings it endured etc., always seeking solace, inspiration, and consolation from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In addition, as we often use the expression “I heart you” to describe the love we have for one another, let this be a true and sincere love; a love that seeks the good of my neighbour – an altruistic love clothed in agape; a love that transcends ethnic and religious bigotries; a love that refuses nepotism etc.; a love that makes us see ourselves as One People; above all, a love that brings about an utopic society.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, may our hearts be restless until they rest in you. Amen!


Sacred Heart of Jesus, thy kingdom come,

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in your love for me,

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you.


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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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