Quantcast
Latest Stories

Heartbeat of God

By

A lady doctor was fond of letting little kids listen to their heartbeat during their check-up. She loved seeing their face light up when they hear the thump of their own hearts from the stethoscope. In one of those usual routine, the question from a little boy touched the pediatrician the most. As he listened to his heartbeat, he looked at the physician in the eye and asked: “Is that Jesus knocking?”

Heartbeat is a sign of life. It is an indicator that the human body is pulsating with energy. It came to me as a surprise that it is actually electricity that makes the heart beat. The cardiac conduction system generates a small electric current through a group of muscle cells in the walls of the heart allowing blood to flow in one direction with each heartbeat. About 2,000 gallons of blood energizes the human body every day. And by the time a person reaches 70 years old, his heart has made more than 2.5 billion heartbeats. Isn’t that amazing? Every waking day is a continuous miracle!

Coming from the Christmas experience, we continue to reflect on the mystery of Jesus. John’s gospel begins with this prologue: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word is characterized as transcendent, distant, really far. But at one moment in time the evangelist confirms: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The once-distant Word, through whom all things were made, became close. John became Jesus’ friend. He saw him, heard him; he was Jesus’ witness. Yet it was all God’s own initiative.

It would be impossible for man to reach God; it is God who reached-out to find him. He made himself known. He gave us a glimpse of his mystery. He disclosed himself in person – in Jesus! From the letter to the Hebrews we read: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. When Jesus was born, God’s heart started to beat. Mary and Joseph listened to his heart. It was the heart of a little child, small and helpless. But that heart already contained the whole world. It was beating with compassion. It started to hear the cry of a world lost.

Before Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger  became Pope (now Benedict XVI), he addressed the Catechists and Religion Teachers on 12 December 2000 during the Jubilee of Catechists. He spoke about the New Evangelization: Building the Civilization of Love. He taught that “human life cannot be realized by itself. Our life is an open question, an incomplete project… the unum necessarium (one thing necessary) for man is God.”

The heartbeat of Jesus made the impossible, possible. He was able to synchronize in his person the contradictions that existed between God and man. He made the invisible visible while allowing the finite to cross the boundaries of infinity. He became mortal to give us license to assume immortality. His coming down is our stairway to heaven. This very revelation confused the brightest of mortals. God knows how to impart learning to mere children and hide it from the clever. Indeed, God’s foolishness is wiser than man’s wisdom.

The fresh insight of a little boy in the vignette gives way to faith: our heart’s heartbeat is a gentle knock from Jesus. This symbolism has long been employed by artists. In St. Paul’s Cathedral, London a life-size portrait hangs entitled “The Light of the World” painted by the famous English artist William Hunt in 1853. This allegorical painting shows Jesus preparing to knock on an overgrown and long-unopened door, illustrating Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me”.

According to Hunt: “I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good Subject.” The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, representing “the obstinately shut mind.” Man’s folly makes the door of his heart shut. In his self-sufficiency, he thinks he can do without God. It is only humble faith that makes his assent to the truth that he is nothing without God. In the meantime Jesus continues to knock like an avid lover. And every heartbeat of the human heart is a gentle reminder of God’s power over his life as well as His immense patience over his continued obstinacy.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  3. Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  6. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  7. Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  8. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  9. Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  10. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Car hits packed US church, injuring about 20
  • LPA enters PH, to bring rains and thunderstorms
  • Sing-along saint: Showbiz world gets papal inspiration
  • Two-thirds of underwater search done, no sign of MH370
  • S. Korea prosecutors turn to mobile app for ferry probe
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement