Hope you are all doing well. I pray the Almighty that He keeps you well in His care now and always. May His grace fill all your hearts and homes.
Once there was a competition in a town. The competition was to see who had the most beautiful heart. That was to be decided by taking an X-ray picture of the hearts of the competitors. So, the day for the competition came. All who wanted to participate in the competition gathered in one place and the process of taking X-ray pictures of them all started. In that crowd, there was a young lady who was the most beautiful in that crowd and there was also an old man with wrinkled face. The crowd thought that the young lady would get the first prize.
The day for the results came. All the competitors gathered in the area with eagerness and anxiety. Many were expecting that the young lady would have first place for having a very beautiful heart as her appearance was very beautiful. The jury came to announce the result. There was uproar from the crowd in anxiety. One of the jury got up and announced the result: “Hereby the jury has come to an agreement in deciding the most beautiful heart of this town and that heart is the heart of the old man.”
There was a great silence for a minute and one from the crowd asked the jury, “How can this be possible? This young lady should have had a beautiful heart!” The jury replied, “Yes, the lady has a very beautiful heart, untouched and immaculate. But this man has a heart full of scars: scars of worries, scars of disappointments, scars of care for others, scars of experience, scars of treasons by others, scars of negligence, scars of concern for the needy, scars of non-acceptance, scars of failures, scars of tough times of his life. Though that heart had so many scars, those scars made the heart more beautiful than the young lady’s heart. That is why the jury had decided this way. Do you see now?” The whole crowd accepted it with tears running down their cheeks.
Most of the time we have a different notion of beauty. I am not trying to explain something about beauty here. When we see the wrinkled faces, we should be able to see the amount of experiences people have, we should look beyond those wrinkles. There are lot of stories hidden behind them. When I shake hands with people and I come across some hard palms, I realize the amount of work those hands have done. When I see the stern faces, I see the hard moments those faces have gone through. When I see the indifferent people, I see the negative experiences the world has given them. These are the beautiful faces that we can come across. They have a heart more beautiful than the hearts that are untouched and unstained.
We need to have a beautiful heart like that of the old man, with scars, scars of love, affection, and concern for others. Are we ready to acquire such a heart? The hearts of Jesus and Mary were ones such as this.
Yours sincerely in Christ Jesus,
Fr. A. Antony