“Following Christ,” is a rich metaphor for the Christian life. The Christian life implies movement: moving from Earth to Heaven. Christ is our guide, our leader, and if we want to end up where He is, we must follow. Sometimes following Christ seems easier, sometimes it seems harder, sometimes it may even seem impossible. In today’s Gospel, Mark tells us that when Jesus saw a crowd gathered around Him, He moved to the other side of the lake. Jesus actually separated Himself from those who were trying to follow Him. A scribe says to Him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus simply tells him that He will not stop anywhere in this world. The Son of Man only rests His head on the bosom of the Father. Finally another asks Jesus permission to take care of his filial duties before embarking on the final Sequitur Christi. Jesus’ answer shows that no duty is a greater priority than following Him.
Immaculate Heart of Mary
We celebrate two hearts as liturgical feasts. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the deep mystery of the Incarnation: what is most central and personal in man is indistinguishable, totally one with the Word. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is also a miraculous work of God, but it defines the person of Mary and her particular role in salvation. The Immaculate Heart is the pure and transparent water of grace fully received into the heart of a woman. The waters of our life so often ebb and flow, the difficulties and struggles remove our peace and we can no longer see clearly. The Sacred Heart, existing by the divinity of the Word, is invincible on its own. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is invincible by a particular grace of God animating and raising it.
Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The human heart is this most noble and precious organ from which life and love flow like blood through our veins. Our heart is our hidden core, our most important, intimate, and personal identity. If you never discover someone’s heart, you will never really know them – and even when you’ve known and loved someone for a long time their heart remains hidden like a secret that they must choose to reveal again and again and you must choose to rediscover constantly. Our heart remains hidden within our body, and it is only by loving and becoming vulnerable that it can be know by others.