By Denise Trull
Blessed Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I could not quite grasp the meaning of this feast as a child growing up and for many years afterward. But when I had children of my own, I suddenly got a stronger hold on it. It was rather an "out of the mouth of babes" type moment for me. My own babe, Thomas by name.
We lived, at one time, right up the street from our Parish Church. We would pass it several times on our way to and from our house on the way to someplace else. One time when we were in the Church after Mass, little Thomas asked where Jesus lived. So, I pointed to the golden tabernacle behind the altar and said, "He lives there, behind that little golden door." And Thomas observed, quite frankly, "Well, He must be very small to fit in there." And there it was. The key to the mystery for me. Jesus becoming very small to "fit" amongst us.
I explained to Thomas that Jesus decided that He couldn't be that far away from us after he resurrected from the dead, because he loved us so much and thought we might miss him. He found a way to be right there, up the street, so we could come see Him at any time. Jesus made himself small so people would not be afraid to come. And He wouldn't ever leave his little golden home, just in case someone stopped by. I also said that we should say hello to him when we could because sometimes He went all day behind the golden door in an empty Church, and people would tend to forget He was there. But He waits all the time, watching for the Church door to open just to see who it will be this time! Thomas really took to this idea, as he never liked anyone to be lonely or left out.
After that, whenever we drove by the Church, thoughtful Thomas would lead the chorus of little kid voices in the back of my fifteen seater van in a rousing, "HI JESUS." I still do it, even now.
When Thomas made his First Communion, I told him that now he, too, was like that little golden house for Jesus to dwell in. Other people would be able to meet Jesus in him. Thomas was the happiest I have ever seen a child at his First Communion even until this day. He took all his First Communion money which he had just opened from all his aunts and uncles and he treated all the kids at the party to ice cream from a passing ice cream truck outside. “Whatever they wanted!” He cried in magnanimous love like a benevolent prince -- I shall never forget the look on his face. Out they all ran, shouting, laughing, and dripping ice cream all over their party clothes. That was a little piece of heaven that I saved in my heart since that day. There are absolutely more powerful stories and miracles that can be shared on this day, but this was a concrete, child-sized example of “as I have done, so you must do.” Thomas had opened his golden door. Jesus was inside, his heart beating with love.
Jesus dwells in little golden houses alone in Churches. Jesus dwells in little golden houses of our love. He is always there. When we feel small, perhaps insignificant, when we feel lonely, overlooked, heart broken, invisible to others, forgotten perhaps -- all things humans feel intensely at times -- there is one who knows our suffering. He dwells behind a little golden door in a dark Church, his Sacred heart beating with anticipation and welcome as if He were saying, "Maybe they will come today. I won't leave just in case they come.” Let us cry, “Hi Jesus!” And visit him often. Let us receive him into our hearts at Mass and take him out to the rest of the world with us and assure them that He is shouting, “Whatever you want!” To each and every heart seeking him. This is the glory of the Sacred Heart. It is a human heart like ours in "all things but sin.”
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.