For yesterday’s Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the second reading was taken from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (3:8-12, 14-19). In chapter three, Paul speaks of his commission to preach God’s plan to the Gentiles. It is from this passage that the headline of this post comes.
I have to admit that, while I have certainly read this line before, its significance had not struck me until I heard it proclaimed at Mass yesterday. Paul declares that it is through the church that we know God’s wisdom. This only serves to bolster the Catholic contention of the importance of the Church. Of course, Catholics go to Matthew 16:18 to show that Christ intended to establish an institutional Church (“you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”). But the key verse, often overlooked, is 1 Tim 3:15: “the household of God…is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” God’s wisdom is truth and His truth is wisdom. And it is from the Church Christ established, that institution that Jesus clearly intended to found and that which His Spirit inspired Paul to write about, that Paul gets his authority.
It is from the heart of the Church that we get true wisdom, the Sacred Heart that was pierced and from which the Church sprung (see CCC 766), with water and blood symbolizing the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist.
This 19th century image of Jesus with His Sacred Heart exposed is one of my most treasured possessions.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.