The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Church is born from blood and water 

Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe. For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of it will be broken.” And again another passage says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.” Jn 19,31-37

Jesus Christ died. He offered his life and his body for the salvation of the world. His human history is over and that the Roman soldier who approached him to give him the deathblow, according to the ritual of those times, means: “The show is over, everybody go home.” At this point, however, the scene changes: from that pierce side, blood and water come out, a symbol of life springing from death. It is not true that everything is over, on the contrary everything is going to begin. It is the sign that Eucharist is forming from that body, from the blood and water, as well as the Church. It would be nice to look closer, through the hole of the wound, the new life that begins to beat. I remember when my brother Vittorio was born. I was a kid, I was six. In a room of our house in the borough Sieci, there was my mother, into labour, the midwife and my father. I was overcome by curiosity and I went to look what was happening through the keyhole. At one point, after so much suffering for my mother and my father’s apprehension, Vittorio was born and it was the triumph of life. Today, the day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us draw closer to Christ’s pierced side the same way, in order to witness the first cry of the Eucharist and the Church. Since they were born together, there must be an intimate and inseparable relationship within each other. Speaking of the Eucharist, S. Augustine said: “It is your own mystery that is celebrated on the altar of the Lord, since you are the body of Christ and his limbs”. As we peep through the crack produced by the spear of a Roman soldier, then, we can also see, along with the birth of the Eucharist and the Church, a clarification to our own mystery as human beings, like a glow in the night,. And the mystery that is enlightened is the fact that we are born to new and completely different life: different people, different hopes, different plans and different dreams. I can remember that, after seeing my brother’s birth through the keyhole, I reflected for long on the fact that I had come to light the same way. Today, many years later, this passage from the Gospel requires me to meditate on the blood, the water and Christ’s lifeless, because my faith originated from here. But, more than meditating, we are asked to contemplate the mystery of the cross and let it speak to us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *