Next week our local regional site, the Bishop Bosco Center, will host a gathering of youngsters from the Catholic Heart Work Camp. They come into an area and work with needy families or organizations for a week at a time, sharing their Catholic Faith and their experiences of charity and outreach in order to bring the love of Christ, the heart of Christ, to others. More on them next week. The point is that they witness to Christ and bring His love to others with an emphasis on the spirit of charity and love that flow from his heart.
With the advances in medicine, the heart can be manipulated (in the best sense of that word), replaced, and we can be kept alive by artificial means. Last evening I watched the movie Iron Man where the Tony Stark character's heart was replaced with some other power source. If we are referring only to the pump, the muscle that beats in our chest, then yes, anything is possible. If we are referring to that which makes us God-like, then it is an entirely different matter, with endless possibilities.
On this day, as we look at the Sacred Heart of Jesus which was pierced for our offenses, which was broken by our sin, from which blood and water came forth for our cleansing and sanctification, we see the heart as something much more. It speaks of love, of commitment, of sacrifice. It speaks of a life lived in love, of a call to service of others, of a covenant relationship with a living God. It is the source of grace and the giftedness given to us by God.
The Entrance Antiphon says:
The designs of his Heart are from age to age,
to rescue their souls from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.