Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart. My friend Sister Laurentia tells me that when she was growing up in Ireland there were homes without plumbing, but there were no homes without their big picture of the Sacred Heart with its red glowing oil lamp beneath it.
I wanted to find the scholarly significance of the soldier’s opening Our Lord’s side, causing it to flow with blood and water, so I checked with Father Ray Brown’s two volume commentary on John’s Gospel.
Father Brown devoted twenty-eight small-print pages to telling us what the great saints and scholars have written about blood and water flowing from Our Lord’s side. Some of them say that since only a living heart could cause blood to flow, the blood must have been emptied from the pericardium. Others say that the symbolism demands it be from the heart itself. They don’t seem to know anymore than we do.
With those heartless soldiers swinging their sledges at the legs of Our Lord’s companions, it was such was such a gruesomely embarrassing death scene for him, that we have to see that his love for us could not have given more.