Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts.
Close friends can often finish each other’s sentences. They have spent so much time together that they know each other intimately. But sometimes, even good friends can be wrong. Only God knows the deepest intentions of a person’s heart.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 9:47), we see Jesus’ closest friends having a hard time understanding him. They had already seen him feed five thousand people and heal a boy possessed by a demon. Peter, James, and John had even seen him transfigured in glory. Surely they would know what Jesus thought was most important. But every time Jesus spoke about his upcoming death, they didn’t get it. They couldn’t grasp the sacrificial nature of his love. Ironically, they then got into an argument about which of them was the greatest disciple.
But Jesus, closer than the best of friends, knew their hearts. Long before this little incident, he was already aware of their pride and rivalry. So patiently and calmly, he made his priorities clear once again. Bringing out a child, he told them, “The one who is least among all of you . . . is the greatest” (Luke 9:48).
Jesus never seemed to grow weary of his disciples’ questions and their weak faith. He continued to teach them day after day, until that Friday afternoon when he hung on the cross and gave them the greatest revelation of the depth of his love.
Jesus knows the intention of your heart as well. He lives in you and knows you better even than you know yourself. He sees your every thought and emotion. He knows the words you will speak before you utter them. He sees the good that lies deep within you, and he knows your most imperfect impulses. And just as he patiently helped the disciples, he will help you.
As you sit with Jesus in prayer today, allow him to search your heart. Let his light reveal the mercy and generosity that already lie there. Let him patiently uncover any fear or bitterness that binds you. And let him teach you of his sacrificial love, which has the power to change your mind and heart so that you think as he thinks and love as he loves.
Never doubt that Jesus is the best friend you could ever have!
“Jesus, searcher of my heart, make me more like you.”
Psalm 102:16-21, 29, 22-23
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