A reader recently wrote to me saying, “The fear of death has created all religions. No human being can define god or gods”. He went on to quote Xenophanes the famous Greek philospher of sixth century BC, “If horses could make images of gods, the gods would look like horses”. So rejecting the idea of God and therefore faith, suggested by Stephan Hawking among others, is not, after all new. From what I know of and believe in about Christianity is that, rather than God being creating by man, God not only created humans but also revealed Himself to us, not as an idea or a doctrine but in the person of Jesus Christ at a definite time and place in history. John’s gospel tells us, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son…”. Josephus Falvius, a first century non-Christian hisotrian in his, The Antiquities of the Jews, writes about Jesus. Besides, several events of the New Testament dealing with Jesus’ life find confirmation in the hisotrical records of that time.
Having said that, one can concede that due to the way some Christians lead their life in opposition to Jesus’ teachings can make others question their religion. But that applies to people of all religions. Coming back to the Christianity, while the month of May is dedicated to the devotion of Mother Mary, June is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a heart unceasingly overflowing with love for humanity. Jesus expressed his love not just through pious words but by actually sacrificing his life on the cross.
Even though the Roman governor of the time, Pilate had during his trial said, “I find no cause of death in him… I will let him go”, finding himself helpless before a riotous crowd he gave into their demand to crucify him. Their accusation against Jesus was that he had blasphemed by daring to address God as loving father. Through his many teachings Jesus tried to replace the idea of a strict and punishing God to one who cares for us. He himself represented the loving heart of God. Through His acts of healing and helping people, eating with the marginalised, he made God accessible to all. Though the practice of offering special devotion to the Sacred Heart in is ancient, it got a bigger boost through Jesus’ appearance to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 17th century. A portion of the prayer remembering Jesus’ Sacred Heart in this month of June is: “Lifted high on the Cross, Christ gave his life for us, so much did he love us. From his wounded side flowed blood and water, the fountain of sacramental life…. To his open heart the savior invites us all, to draw water in joy from the springs of salvation.”