The Head and His Heart
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (Jn 15:4)
I was at Adoration tonight, reflecting on the fact that Christ is the Head of the Church and we are all His Body. And I thought about how, in the physical body, it is the brain working in union with the heart that keeps the body alive. Without our brain to send signals to the body, we can’t function. Without our heart to pump blood to our organs, all other systems fail.
The head and the body must work together.
And herein lies a great mystery. The Head of the Body of Christ is wrist Himself, perfect, without blemish or stain of sin. The Body consists of sinners. I am a sinner. You, unless you are a member of the heavenly courts looking over my shoulder as I type this (in which case, pray for me!), are probably also a sinner. And if you aren’t in a state of sin right now, chances are you’ve sinned in the past, and though I pray that God preserve us all from falling into sin, it’s likely that we will sin again.
The heart belongs to the body, and yet this Body consists of sinners. How, then, are the head and the heart to work together, giving life to the Body? We know it to be true that the Church is alive, sustained by Christ, and yet we also know that God is entirely practical, giving us physical signs that point to the unseen reality.
It was at this point that I looked up at the Eucharistic Heart of Christ. His Sacred Heart, under the appearance of bread and wine. Though veiled, he is recognized, wrapped in gold, attended with burning light, enthroned on the altar. And again I saw that God, in his practicality, is infinitely simple: "I AM."
This, the Eucharist, is the answer to every question. This is how the head and the heart work together. The Heart of the Body is no fickle, sinful human heart; it is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ Himself. He gives us His Heart as the source and the summit of our life and the life of His Church. He sustains us when our hearts fail. And it is in this inferno of divine love, welling up in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that our own hearts are tested as silver in fire.
Let us abide in Him, and allow Him to abide in us, that we may bear good fruit.
Lord, I surrender my heart to you. Refine me in the fire of your love.