Surrounded on three sides by hills and waterfalls, stars overhead, and lambs running past me, I felt immersed in God’s presence. No, I wasn’t on a camping trip. I was at Sight and Sound Theatre’s production of David. And what a production it was! A thirty-foot robotic Goliath jumped down the hill, making rocks roll. Real-life actors belted out original songs, many inspired by the Psalms. It was truly a glorious experience.
Without glossing over any of his faults or sins, David is declared to be “a man after God’s own heart” (1Samuel 13:14). But how can a mere mortal inclined to sin reflect the heart of God? And what does God’s heart look like anyway?
As New Testament people, we know most assuredly the attributes of God’s heart. Through the revelation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, we even know what Jesus’ heart looks like.
The most noticeable property of Jesus’ heart is his burning love. The flame that is ablaze in his heart sets David’s heart afire, too. “For your love is better than life; my lips shall ever praise you!” (Psalm 63:4). Living for the Lord and doing His will gives David’s life purpose.
Because David loved God, he thought about him. The many hours spent in the fields as a shepherd gave David the opportunity to reflect on God’s laws and precepts. “I find joy in the way of your testimonies more than in riches. I will ponder your precepts and consider your paths. In your statutes I take delight: I will never forget your word” (Psalm 119:14-16). David enjoyed spending time with God and meditating on His Word. Thus, he grew closer to God.
We, too, should seek to experience the zeal that the love of God brings. Through prayer and meditation, we fall deeply in love with our Lord. Then nothing in this life will separate us from the love of God because his love is better than life itself. Like a burning fire, we are not able to contain it; as a matter of fact, we spread it. Sharing Love gives meaning to our lives.
Are our hearts burning with the love of God?
The crown of thorns is at the center of Jesus’ heart. Of all the events that occurred at the Passion from the scourging to the spitting and buffeting, to the crucifixion, only the crowning was not foretold by the prophets. This mockery was Jesus going the extra mile to show his love for us. Furthermore, he trusted the Father, knowing that God would bring good (our salvation) out of his suffering.
David, likewise, trusted God. When facing Goliath, when being hunted by Saul, when routing Israel’s enemies, David believed God would protect him. “Because you have the Lord for your refuge and have made the Most High your stronghold, no evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent” (Psalm 91:9-10). God had a plan, and David wanted to follow it. “Lord, show me your ways. Teach me how to follow you” (Psalm 25:4).
God is trustworthy. If David trusted God when facing a giant, and Jesus trusted his Father when facing crucifixion, then we, too, can trust Him during our trials and sufferings. God has a plan for our good.
Does the crown of thorns that encircle Jesus’ heart remind you that his love protects you?
The final mark on the Sacred Heart is the wound from the piercing sword. From his side flowed blood and water, a fount of mercy for us. Because none of us are perfect, we are all in need of forgiveness and salvation, which we receive from the very Heart of Jesus.
Even the man after God’s own heart, who loved and trusted Him so much, faltered and committed grave sins. Yet, when accused of his sins, the mighty king did not try to deflect or excuse his behavior. In all humility, he begged for God’s forgiveness: “Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me. For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me…A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit” (Psalm 51:3-5,12). Though there were consequences because of his sins, David was forgiven. His humility led him back to God’s heart.
The virtue of humility aids us in examining our own consciences. We recognize our weaknesses and God’s greatness. Understanding that He is always willing to forgive and cleanse us deepens our love for such a generous and merciful God.
When was the last time you went to confession and allowed yourself to be cleansed by the blood and water flowing from Jesus’ heart?
We are called to be people after God’s own heart. Through love, trust, and humility, we intensify our devotion and manifest Jesus’ Sacred Heart to the world. Let us ask King David, who surely is dwelling in the house of the Lord, to intercede for us before the King of kings all the days of our lives. May Jesus reign in our hearts. Amen.