Acts 9:26-31; Ps 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32; 1 Jn 3:18-24; Jn 15:1-8
There’s a verse in today’s second reading that hints at the depth of healing that Christ makes possible: “[I]n whatever our hearts condemn … God is greater than our hearts and knows everything” (1 Jn 3:19b-20a). Sometimes we get so used to cadences of biblical language, that it’s easy to overlook the depth of the mystery being expressed.
The first remarkable feature of this verse is surely this: it speaks of the heart as the origin of a certain kind of condemnation. What could this mean? Nowadays we use the heart to refer strictly to our emotions—and usually to out positive emotions. We often oppose the “heart” to the “head,” and we describe compassionate and generous people as having “big hearts.” In Scripture, though, the word is broader and deeper: it is the source of bad emotions as well as good; it is the seat of our cravings, the organ of our private thoughts, the storehouse of our memories.
The condemnation of the heart, understood biblically, can consequently refer to “accusations” that originate from a place deeper than our own thinking and willing. Read the rest of this entry »