SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME FEBRUARY 9, 2019
Gospel Mk 6:30-34
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 Jesus 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.
“When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them.” The heart of Jesus is so compassionate. If you come to him before the Blessed Sacrament you will be answered as God always answers prayers in His own time and according to His will.
A few years ago, I remember praying before Jesus in the tabernacle, when I heard someone enter the chapel and sit behind me. I usually don’t interfere in someone else’s prayer, but I heard crying. I weighed my options; do I leave this person in solitude crying to God or do I offer them a tissue? After a few minutes I thought a tissue was needed and so I offered this lady one. As I looked into her eyes, I saw a desperate need, so I offered her a hug with the tissue. When she settled down, she surprised me by saying she was praying for God to send her a hug and she couldn’t believe how God answered her prayer. Compassion, no matter how small, will reach the hearts of others in ways we cannot fathom.
Today, the upheaval in the Catholic Church has scattered many. We seem to be, “like sheep without a shepherd”. We should look closely at our church and recognize Jesus has given us many faithful apostles who care for his flock. They work tirelessly tending to their sheep without regard for their own lives. They continue to teach us the Word, help to renew our souls through confession and bring us a Eucharistic Jesus. How could we live without them?
Jesus remains the head of the church and there is no way he will let the gates of hell prevail where he leads. We need to remember the true leader of our church and cling to Him all the more. We must have compassion for all involved in the recent scandal and pray for good and holy priests. I encourage you to spend some time praying before the Eucharist in adoration or before a tabernacle and speak to Him from the heart. He will hear our prayers and answer them, for his heart is full of compassion.