Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The heart of man, says Jeremiah, is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. (Jer. 17:9) So who would go there? It is only natural that we avoid the heart, avoid going within. And, as St. Augustine says, we just scratch at the senses. We keep stimulation going all the time: videos keep images moving across our eyes, noise of all kinds is fed us all the time, wherever we go. I suspect this is because people are terrified of silence, terrified of what they might find if they were left alone.
People are right to be terrified. Jesus’ depiction of what comes out of the heart of man is a profound indictment: it seems little but evil comes from within. Yet precisely because He “knew what was in man” (John 2:25) He could enter into the depths of human sinfulness. He entered so deeply, that having suffered the worst of what humans had to offer, the creed itself tells us “He descended into hell.”
And He rose again from the dead: for all this evil was overcome by His love. Through Him, with Him, in Him, we have the courage to enter fearlessly into our own hearts, and the hearts of others. Knowing there are in fact snake pits, but He overcomes the serpents (Mk. 16:18): He has dealt with the brood of vipers. And emerged whole. In His Sacred Heart we find healing, safety, refuge: with the gift of His Holy Spirit, we move with Him in a world made clean by His Blood. And so we can turn off the TV and the nonsense of the radio, and turn safely within – and turn upwards toward God. But only in the Lord Jesus, hidden safely in His glorious wounds.