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The compassion of Jesus

Gospel Reading: Mt 9:32-38
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute person spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

His Heart Was Moved With Pity. Jesus is overwhelmed with pity when he sees the crowds. He feels sorry for them. They are troubled and abandoned.

The other word for “troubled” in Greek is to be annoyed or bothered, feeling that something has really gone bad, a gut feeling that something is not right.

People congregate and follow Jesus as he proclaims the Kingdom of God because they are troubled, disturbed, and confused. They seem to be far from that Kingdom. They want to be enlightened how to get there.

Jesus’ heart breaks for these people. Nobody is taking care of them; their leaders have abandoned them. The people are incapable of filling up the emptiness in their hearts. The other word for “abandoned” in Greek is to be thrown off or tossed, moving about without a clear direction and destination. A trial-and-error method is wasteful. It is sad.

Looking at himself, Jesus is also sad at what has happened just before he goes around preaching and facing those people. His opponents mistake him for being an instrument of the devil, not God, when he exorcises the demoniac. They are out there to demolish him.

Do you have the capacity to be compassionate?

Then, get involved.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.