A Heart so in touch with us

Here in the UK we're halfway through an increasingly acrimonious General Election campaign. And one of the accusations often levelled at certain politicians is that they're 'out of touch' with the concerns and struggles of 'ordinary' people. How, we ask, can someone who has only ever known wealth and privilege understand the fears and anxieties of people who can barely feed their families, heat their homes or pay their bills? How can they understand the shame people can feel when using a foodbank, the exhaustion of full-time carers in broken systems, or the precariousness of a life always teetering on the edge of disaster? Conversely, a politician somehow becomes more humanised when we learn that they have a disabled child, or a serious health issue, while those from anything resembling humble origins offer their earlier experiences as proof of being very much 'in touch'! 

But today's lovely feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us that, through Jesus, we have a God who is, and always will be, completely in touch with us all! When Jesus took on our humanity, in poverty and obscurity, he also took on a human heart. There was no divine bulletproof vest; no aloof invincibility: Jesus experienced anguish and disappointment, frustration, fear, and the pain of betrayal... and, in his death, the worst that humans can do to each other. On the Cross the divine became defenceless; even, as today's Gospel relates, allowing his dead body to be desecrated, by a gratuitously cruel soldier wielding a lance. 

And yet, it was through this cruelty that Jesus' Heart was opened, never to close; that it was broken, as it has surely broken a hundred thousand times since. And it is here, into this pierced and wounded Heart, where we can bring our own broken and wounded hearts, and the wounds and brokenness of others, and of our world, for healing and restoration. No out-of-touch God is this, but one who can walk with us; embrace and hold and carry us; one whose Sacred Heart can make us whole, through the strength and tenderness of his unlimited and unconditional love. 

As we celebrate this feast, in a world riven by war and populism, what is the anguish and brokenness we can bring to Jesus' Heart? And what is the hope, and the abundant love, that we can draw from it and share, especially to people and in places and situations where love and hope are most needed? 

And what do I need for my heart, what do you need for yours, to make sure we always remain completely in touch with the Heart of Jesus...?