The Human Heart of Jesus


Image of a smiling boy

Nothing human can escape the delight God takes in it since the Infinite Wisdom designed for Herself a human heart in the birth of the Christchild. God has created man in His own image and, in a sense, has married human nature to the Universe. That is not to say that the Universe belongs to humanity; rather humanity belongs to the universe in Christ who offers it up in himself to his beloved Father.

In the glorious urban jungles of humanity, in places like India, for example, a boy is born to whom no one makes a claim: he is nobody’s child, except, of course, God’s. You might say that each infant lives like a pupa within the chrysalis of its own ribcage; its little human heart beating in harmony with the human heart of the living God: destined to grow into the generous and noble image of its Creator; destined to open its butterfly wings to embrace the warmth of the Son’s gaze and join in the everlasting dance of the redeemed.                 

How do you and I differ from that boy? Let us give him a name and call him kim [keeping it lower case, since we do not have any rights of ownership, and name him merely for our own convenience.] We belong to a family and have a family history. We are bedded into a civilization, having a national insurance number and an address; we experience ourselves as ‘belonging’, but none of these attributes defines us.  We all of us have different gifts; poetry, music, athleticism, skilful hands and so on, but so does kim. It is solely our humanity which defines us; the talents are sprinkled among us for each other’s benefit and by the Spirit’s largesse. And so it is for kim.

If I were to pray to Jesus for kim I would be praying to kim in Jesus. When I pray to Jesus for those who are imprisoned for championing human rights in China, in my prayer I am entering that person’s cell and finding Christ, whether that person has ever even heard of Him or not. That is because He got there before my prayer ever did and my prayer united us in Him; and when we lose touch with Him our solitude becomes our loneliness.

Bill MacCurtain SJ