Seeing Jesus standing outside the empty tomb, on Easter morning, Mary Magdalene’s first assumption was that he was the gardener (John 20:15). Perhaps she was onto something. What if we invite Jesus to be the gardener of our heart? The gardener is responsible for the fertility and the fruitfulness of the garden. The fertility of any soil is a function of both the chemistry and the texture of the soil. If the soil is packed down it is not receptive to either seed or water. What sort of shape is the soil of our heart in? Life can walk all over us and sometime stomp all over us so that the soil of our heart is packed down pretty hard. Our hearts have been hardened. For the sake of our fertility in being able to bear much fruit, the gardener may have to break our hearts to make us receptive towards the seed that he will plant in us. This time of preparation may not be particularly pleasant, and we may be tempted to back out, but Jesus gives us a prayer for this scenario, “Not my will but Thine be done”, Luke 22:42. At harvest time we can look back and say, “What heartbreak?”. “That’s so past tense!”
Once the seed germinates, what does the gardener use to actualize the potential of our soil chemistry? We are watered and fertilized by the very being of the Gardener in the Eucharistic sacraments. Also, the Gardener and the seed mysteriously are one and the same. St. Paul, in Ephesians 4:13, talks about, “growing...unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”.
If you are contemplating inviting Jesus “into your heart” the first question might be, are you going to extend an invitation for Him come in as a guest or to come in as the gardener?
Blog image compliments of PICRYL from Library of Congress.