Excerpt 7
Heart of Jesus, Of Whose Fullness
We Have All Received

THE words of this invocation are taken from the first chapter of St. John's Gospel. Having spoken of the majesty of the Word of God, that became man and dwelt among us, the Evangelist summarizes what he has said in these words, "And of his fullness we have all received" (Jn. 1:16). Jesus possesses all the perfections of the Divine nature and all the gifts of grace of which human nature is capable, and through Him they are communicated to us. We will consider the three principal gifts by which we share in His fullness.

Adoption of Sons

All the fullness of the Divinity dwells in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, because He is the Son of the eternal Father. At the moment appointed from all eternity He became the Son of Mary in order to make us the children of God. St. John tells us that He gave to all who believe in Him the power of becoming the sons of God. It is through Baptism that this communication of sonship is accomplished. In Baptism we are born again of water and the Holy Spirit, and the new life which we then receive is truly Divine life. True, we are only adopted children, but Divine adoption stands immeasurably above human adoption. Human adoption is an external relation which produces no change in the nature, life, or character of the adopted. Divine adoption produces a real internal change; we are raised to a higher order and receive an altogether new life. The same Holy Spirit that dwells in Christ now dwells in us also and gives testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God. He becomes our guide as He was the guide of Jesus; but, again, as the Apostle says, "Whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God" (Rom. 8:14) . Holy Church gives thanks for this great gift of the Sacred Heart, when on the feast of Pentecost she sings in the Preface, "Who, rising above all the heavens and sitting at Thy right hand, has today poured out the promised Spirit upon the sons of adoption."

Gifts of Grace

As children of adoption we share in all the gifts which the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The prophet Isaias spoke of the Holy Spirit as resting on Jesus with the fullness of His seven gifts. As if to ratify and fulfill this prophecy, the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus at His Baptism. We too receive the Holy Spirit with all His seven gifts in Baptism and in Confirmation, since in Christ we are the children of God. When Jesus cried out in the Temple, "If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture says, from within him there shall flow rivers of living water" (Jn. 7:38). He said this of the Holy Spirit, for until then the Holy Spirit had not been given, for Christ had not yet been glorified. In like manner we partake in all the other virtues and gifts of grace of the Sacred Heart. All the perfection and holiness of the Saints in Heaven and the just on earth is a participation in that fullness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jesus is our life; He lives in us and we in Him.

Heavenly Glory

The gifts of grace bestowed upon us in this life are to prepare us for the yet greater gifts of the life to come. The blessed vision of God in Heaven with all its bliss and glory is but a participation in Christ's vision of the Father. Faith and hope shall come to an end and we shall behold the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit face to face through what is called the light of glory. So wonderful is the splendor and transforming power of this light that it will change us into the likeness of God. "Beloved, now we are the children of God and it has not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like to Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 Jn. 3:2). On the day of resurrection the glory of the soul shall be communicated also to the body. Does not St. Paul tell us that in Christ we all have risen and that, if we die with Him, we shall also live with Him, and if we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified with Him? Our body shall rise in the glory of Christ's glorified body; it shall be resplendent like the sun, beyond the reach of pain and suffering, independent of all material wants and needs. So the children of God shall be at home with their Father in Heaven and enjoy the fullness of the gifts of the Sacred Heart in undisturbed peace and security forever. Our heavenly glory is the object of Christ's priestly prayer before His Passion, "Father, I will that where I am, they also whom Thou hast given Me may be with Me; in order that they may behold My glory . . . and that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (Jn. 17:24 ff.).

Now that we have become children of God, let us walk worthy of our Christian dignity. Since we have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit out of the fullness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us keep in touch with this Holy Spirit, that He may perfect in us the work which He has begun. And, while waiting for the final participation in the glory of the Sacred Heart, let us arouse within ourselves a great desire for Heaven, for the coming of Jesus in glory. It was this desire that put the closing words of the Apocalypse upon the lips of the beloved disciple, "Come, Lord Jesus."



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