HEART OF JESUS
The metaphorical meaning of heart in the Bible is the seat of emotion, strength, or life. It can be the source of good or immoral acts of a person. “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” (Lk 6:45). The sacrifice of heart was an ancient custom of the pagans to please gods because heart represented the person. The Aztecs sacrificed the heart of humans to the sun god. During the mummification, the Egyptians preserved the heart with particular care than other organs.
HEART OF JESUS PIERCED
A centurion pierced the heart of Jesus after his death on the cross. The purpose of piercing the side of Jesus with a spear by the soldier or centurion, who is named as Longinus in the non-canonical books, wanted to confirm that he was dead.
The liquids that flowed from the heart of Jesus was the watery lymph from the pericardium and blood from the heart. The human heart is on the left side of the body. However, artists make this wound on the right. The soldier might have pierced from the right side from below to bypass the ribs and to push the heart against the ribs on the left side. This, by divine providence, assured that his rib was not broken, and that he was dead before taken down from the cross proving beyond any doubt that he had risen from the dead.
HEART: SYMBOLIC MEANING OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Based on her visions, St. Margaret Mary designed and produced the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the image of the Sacred Heart, we see the heart outside the chest of Jesus, shining with divine light. It is wounded and bleeding, encircled by the crown of thorns, and with a cross on the top. Jesus points to the heart with his wounded hands.
The heart represents the physical heart of Jesus and his sacrificial love for humanity.
The pierced and bleeding heart reminds us of the piercing of his heart while he was on the cross and the last drop of blood and water that came out of his sacrifice.
The crown of thorns is the symbol of the real crown of sharp thrones placed on the head of Jesus to humiliate him and to torture him before his crucifixion.
The cross on the top of the heart represents the cross that won victory for humanity and the ladder that connects the heaven and the earth through the redemptive work of Jesus.
Flames on the heart are symbolic of the burning flame of love of Jesus for humanity.
The light surrounding the heart is representing the divine light that shines in the darkness of this world.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:12). Jesus added, “I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29). Love of Jesus deserves our love in return. Jesus summarized all the teachings of the Scripture in two statements: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37). “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” (Mt 22:39-40).