I have a charmingly mischievous 4-year-old niece who is queen of the unexpected! Recently, after she left my parents’ house, my mom found a band-aid on her crucifix. Right there on Jesus’ upper arm was placed a small band-aid. It was a spontaneous and loving gesture from the pure heart of a child. Perhaps it was her way of saying: “I’m sorry that You are suffering. I want to make it better.” Children teach us so much about love. If only, as adults, we could be that simple!
When my mom emailed the photo to me, the subject line read: “That’s what love does.” No doubt we could say that about my niece wanting to console Jesus. And we could also say it about Jesus, hanging upon the Cross for our salvation: That’s what love does!
As we stand on the threshold of Holy Week, face to face with Jesus’ death on a Cross, not only do we experience our deep and continual need for freedom from the stranglehold of sin, but we also see how much Our Lord suffered for that freedom. And we may wonder: What band-aid could possibly make that better?
Perhaps the best band-aid (a.k.a. consolation or reparation) we can offer Our Lord this Holy Week is to simply receive His love poured out from His pierced Heart on the Cross. Will we dare to open wide our hearts to Him this Holy Week, so as to be healed by His wounds of love! Then with St. Bernard we can cry out: “Easily they love more who realize they are loved more.”
Let us not be afraid! We can trust Him with our open and wounded hearts. He is the healer. So often we fear vulnerability even with God. But look, gaze, and consider our loving Savior as He hung upon the Cross! What could be more vulnerable than the Crucified One? No matter how heinous the sin, how deep the wound, or how gripping the addiction, we can be utterly confident that when we approach Him with an open heart, He will receive us and heal us and set us free.
It really is quite simple: We have only to offer Him the “band-aid” of our open hearts. He will receive our little act of love. And He will pour out His salvific grace upon us. And with Him we will rise. Because that’s what love does.