Living in a fallen world, we often experience rejection and betrayal from those we love the most. It can be difficult to bear and as a result, we may feel unloved by everyone and utterly alone.
It is during those times that Jesus wants to speak a message of love to us, and there is one particular scene in the Bible that can bring us consolation and peace.
The scene does not immediately lend itself to meditation, but when looked at more closely, it can provide hours of prayer. It is from the Gospel of John and features a brief moment when Jesus’ “beloved disciple” rests on his chest during the Last Supper.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side … He leaned back against Jesus’ chest (John 13:23, 25).
There is much to unpack in this short verse.
First of all, instead of identifying the disciple, St. John states that it was the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” While it might refer to a specific individual, it also applies to each one of us, whom Jesus loves very dearly.
Jesus revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, “My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with humanity that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its ardent charity. It must pour them out.” Jesus loves us infinitely more than we can possibly imagine and he wants to pour out that love upon us. He can no longer contain the love that he has for us!
Furthermore, this disciple at the Last Supper leaned upon Jesus’ chest, resting on his heart. Think about that for a few seconds.
Wouldn’t you want to rest on Jesus’ heart?
Think about when you were a child, when you leaned back against your mother or father and rested your head upon their chest, enfolded in their arms. Again, this is what Jesus wants you to do and the feelings he wants you to feel when thinking about this scene.
Jesus invited St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to do this very action when he visited her, “He made me repose for a long time upon His breast. He showed me the inexplicable wonders of His pure love, and to what an excess He had carried it for the love of humanity.”
This scene can come alive each time we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. After receiving him into our bodies, we return to the pew and can meditate on this scene. It can be a powerful experience if we truly believe that God loves us and is inviting us to rest on his heart.
Remember, we are never truly alone in this world, even when everyone has abandoned us. Jesus was abandoned on the cross and understands that feeling. However, he doesn’t want us to stay there, but to come to the table of his feast and place our head close to his heart. By doing so, we can feel the heartbeat of his love for us and catch a glimpse of his burning charity.
The invitation is open. We just need to respond and accept the fact that God love us more than we can imagine.