Last night Rayne and I prayed in front of the sacred heart of Jesus statute in the church.

As I looked at Jesus, it suddenly hit me that his heart is like his shield and rather than cover it with armour and a metallic shield, Jesus exposes it vulnerably.

Jesus’ protection is in his eternal love for us that can never be extinguished no matter how much we reject him or insult him. His protection is in his openness.

And it’s the same at mass. When I serve mass and I look at that simple bread and wine that will be transformed into His body for us all to consume, again I think of Jesus’ vulnerability because he is giving us himself!

Similarly as we become more like Jesus, we too become more vulnerable, more open and yet at the same time stronger and freer to love without being afraid of what others may say or think of us because the love of Jesus will make all these things seem insignificant.

This type of attitude and strength is what is needed nowadays for evangelisation when we live in a world where talking about Jesus and Christian morality is counter cultural to say te least and the only way we will be able to sustain this is by being plugged into Jesus’ sacred heart which will give us the strength, the zeal and the protection.

This certainly does not mean that we won’t get hurt because when we love people we run the risk of them hurting us and perhaps using the things that we have told them in private against us.

We will get hurt because Jesus gets hurt but when we turn our hearts back to God and forgive those who hurt us, God repairs our hearts and we are ready to love again and yes, maybe get hurt again too.

In a way it’s a bit like having a flat tyre on your car or bike, you get it repaired and you get back on the road!!

Sometimes the risk after getting hurt would be to close our hearts and not to love again but yet Jesus continuously calls us to forgiving, to loving and to keeping our hearts open to love as he does. The only possible way of doing this is through prayer and for those of us that are Catholic we have the powerhouse of all the sacraments of the church to strengthen us even further.

So let us keep going back to the sacred heart and it will heal our wounds and strengthen us so that we can love no matter what and thus be the ‘apostles of love’ that Our Lady continuously speaks of in Medjugorje.