Tattoos of the Heart

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Mark 12:28-34 I have told you several stories about Jesuit priest Greg Boyle who lives in LA and employs and rehabilitates gang members at a place called Homeboy Industries . One day, at Homeboy Industries, Greg has been dealing with a particularly exasperating homie, so he decides to change up his strategy and catch the homie in the act of do something right. Greg sees that he has been too harsh and that the homie, in fact, had been doing the best they could. Greg tells the homie how heroic he is and how the courage he exhibits now in transforming his life far surpasses the hollow bravery of his gang-related past. Greg tells him he is a giant among men. The homie is thrown off balance by all this and silently stares at Greg, whom the homies call G. Then he says, “Wow, G … I’m gonna tattoo that on my heart.” This story reminds me that: there are things worth tattooing on our hearts in permanent ink. The Hebrew Scripture today tells us to write the words, love God, on our hearts, to repeat them constantly as we wake up and sleep, and to post the words on our doorways and houses. For the greatest commandments on this: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Love God. Love neighbor. Write this everywhere. Scribble it on post-its and stick it everywhere in your house. Why do […]

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