We hear at Holy Mass today: Jacob loved Joseph, but Jacob’s other sons rebelled, and they sold Joseph into slavery. The owner made the land serviceable for the tenants, but they rebelled. The owner sent his son to make peace, and the tenants killed him.
Rebellion against a kind and loving authority, against a kind and loving father. The prophet Jeremiah put is to us at Holy Mass yesterday: “More torturous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy. Who can understand it?”
In our hearts, we find rebellion—the human version of Satan’s response to the heavenly Father. Non serviam. Again, we read in the book of the prophet Jeremiah (chapter 2): The Lord laid a yoke on the neck of Israel, the yoke of faithful obedience. And Israel replied, “I will not serve.”
Today we celebrate our only First-Friday Mass of this year’s Lent. Four weeks from today is Good Friday. So let’s mediate on the remedy God has given us for our rebellious hearts.
In The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson put Psalm 57:8 on the lips of Christ, as they bound Him to the scourging post. “My heart is ready, Father; my heart is ready.” Mel didn’t pull that out of nowhere. St. Augustine taught that Psalm 57 is “a song of the Passion.”
The ready heart: our Lord’s, and our Lady’s. No rebellion, no pride, no ‘mine!’ Only: “My soul proclaims God’s goodness.” Only: “Praise be to you, Father, for revealing your wisdom to little children.” Only: “Thy will be done.”
In our Lord’s Heart, and His mother’s, we find the original peace of prelapsarian Eden. We find the Spirit by which we sinners can become adopted children of the heavenly Father. In the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart, we find no rebellion, no ego. We find a human will and human affections that reverberate in harmony with the eternal and infinite divine will. We find: True citizenship in the Kingdom of Reality.
The grace that flows out of the Sacred Heart can quell all the rebellion in our hearts–the rebellion that actually only serves the Overlord of the Kingdom of Lies. The grace that comes to us in the Blessed Sacrament of the flesh and blood of God: it can heal the tortuousness that we find whenever we take an honest look inside.
Jeremiah lamented, “The human heart is beyond remedy!” But God heard that lament, and He gave us the remedy. The Sacred Heart of Christ and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.