The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
When He disembarked and saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.
LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD. What stands out in the Gospel is Jesus’ compassion for His disciples and for the crowds continually following them.
His co-worker disciples have become so busy that they do not even have time to eat. Jesus asks them to go to a deserted place for some needed rest. Jesus is not a slave driver; He knows the needs of His co-workers. He has compassion for the crowds as they are “like sheep without a shepherd,” constantly running and following Him in the hope of finding some cure, consolation, learning, and remedy for their maladies. With no one to turn to, these people see in Jesus, and rightly so, their hope of salvation.
In our times, we can turn to many doctors and hospitals when we are sick. But we know that without God’s power they cannot effect healing; in fact, they stand helpless before incurable diseases. Besides, because of poverty, many people do not receive medical attention and cannot hope for healing. We need to have the heart and the compassion of Jesus before any form of suffering — be it sickness or injustice, crime or violence.
As St. Teresa of Jesus puts it, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.