“Behold this Heart,” Jesus said sorrowfully, as He held His pierced Heart out to St. Margaret Mary. “Behold this Heart which has so loved men, that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to testify to its love. In return, I have received from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and their sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of Love.”
Who of us does not know how painful it is to love someone wholeheartedly and perceive that the person we ardently care for is indifferent to us? Or, thinking of one person you are close to, what would you be inclined to do if you could tell that that person’s heart was heavy? Would you not try to somehow make things right, to do or say something to console that person?
And what if that Person were Jesus?
In reality the Heart held out to Margaret Mary is offered to you as tangibly as it was to her—just under a different appearance. It is the same Heart that is offered to us today in the “sacrament of love” that the majority of humanity has “coldness and contempt” for.
A beautiful meditation by Father Martin Lucia, uses an illustration to convey the merging of Jesus’ Eucharistic love and Eucharistic suffering, and our response to it:
“On Holy Thursday night, Jesus showed us the very “depth of His love” by giving us the complete gift of Himself and His total love in the Holy Eucharist. Then He appealed to His apostles for the first holy hour of prayer . . . He took them into the garden . . . and asked them to watch and pray with Him. As He started to pray, He began to sweat blood. The agony He suffered was the realization that the Holy Eucharist would be rejected by so many and appreciated by so few. To reject the Holy Eucharist is to reject Jesus Himself. He saw down through the ages how He would be left alone, spurned and avoided by men in so many tabernacles of the world, while He comes to bring so much love and so many blessings . . . How few would believe in His Real Presence; and fewer still respond to His appeal to be loved in the Blessed Sacrament . . . the blood He sweated was grief poured out from a broken Heart, caused by the sorrow of His Eucharistic love being so rejected.
“Then an angel brought Jesus indescribable strength and consolation by showing Him every holy hour that you would ever make. At that moment in the garden, Jesus saw you praying before Him . . . and He knew that His love would be returned . . . your holy hour consoles Him for those who do not love Him and wins countless graces for many to be converted to Him.” (Fr. Martin Lucia, SS.CC. Loving Jesus with the Heart of Mary, page 22)
That last line is a simple but rich explanation of reparation—consoling Him for those who do not love Him and winning countless graces for many to be converted to Him. The common definition of reparation is “compensation for a wrong, or restoration of something to good condition.” When we apply that to the Heart of Jesus, it means giving Jesus love, reverence and gratitude to compensate for what others have failed to give Him, and what we are restoring to “good condition” is His Heart, made happy once again by our sensitivity and loving effort. Though it may sound like an intimidating expectation to daily offer reparation to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, it consists simply in doing what Father Andrew Apostoli describes, “Reparation is an act of love to God to help make up for someone’s failure or refusal to love Him. In other words, when a person offers some good deed or act of self-denial as reparation to God, he is saying, ‘God, I love You’ in order to make up for an offense against Him by which someone else said, ‘God, I do not love You.’ ” (Fatima for Today, page 28) So, when in the Eucharist we “Behold this Heart” and it’s suffering, we make reparation for the coldness and indifference of many other hearts, by offering our own and responding, “Behold this heart.”
—By Sr. Maria, Servant of Abba Father, OSIHJM