We had a big meeting of nuns a week ago, and we were asked to bring a small symbol of Jesus' heart with us. I brought this red heart:
(Actually, to be truthful, I brought both it and the cross because I changed my mind while packing.)
The heart fits in my palm, and it has a lovely tinkly bell inside. It makes a happy noise!
But I didn't bring it because it sings, or because it's heart-shaped and pretty. I brought it because of who gave it to me.
The heart was a gift from my very best friend, and it symbolizes Jesus' heart for me because she's the one person in my life who always knows how I feel by the sound of my voice. We live far apart, so most of our communication is by cell phone. And yet she always seems to know whether I'm really happy or just pretending to be.
It makes me think of the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene after the resurrection in the Gospel of John. She goes to the empty tomb and sits weeping in sorrow for the loss of her dear friend. And then he's there--but she thinks he's the gardener. It's only when he says her name that she recognizes him. She knows him in the sound of his voice, and in the call of her name.
May we all have someone in our lives who can discern the state of our heart by the sound of our voice.
May I always remember that Jesus always knows the state of my heart and keeps good company with both sorrow and joy.