REFLECTION FOR TODAY
August 2, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. Matt. 14:13-14
In our gospel reference today, we see the selflessness and unconditional love Jesus had for the people even in his moment of grief. He had pity on the crowd who had followed him and healed the sick.
The disciples of Jesus would have felt frustrated that their private time to absorb the news of John the Baptist’s death was interrupted by the crowd seeking Jesus out. Despite not only losing a cousin, but Jesus has also lost a great prophet and a powerful witness to who he was and what He had come to do, yet He had pity on the crowd.
This reaction of Jesus shows his selflessness and unconditional love doe all people. He did not look at the crowd and sigh, saying to Himself, “Why don’t they leave me alone. Don’t they know I am grieving?” No. Instead, Jesus was filled with mercy and compassion for them, and He went to them to heal many of their sick.
This gives us insight into the heart and compassion of Jesus. Many times, we are afraid to go to God. We are afraid to turn to Him because of our sin. We are afraid of what He will think and say to us. We feel guilty and ashamed and, as a result, fail to seek Him out.
But just as Jesus had compassion for those who sought Him out in this story, so also, He will ALWAYS have the deepest of compassion for us every time we seek Him out. If we find our lives steeped in sin, but run to Him anyway, He will look at us with compassion and mercy. He never tires of us returning to Him, seeking His healing and mercy. We should always have hope in Him and turn to Him with the greatest confidence.
Reflect, today, upon how comfortable you are in turning to Jesus just as you are. Are you afraid or worried about what He thinks of you? Are you ashamed of your sin or weakness? Do you worry He will judge you and not care? Have confidence in His abundance of mercy and run to Him without fear.
Lord, help me to trust in Your love and compassion. Help me to know that You always long for me to come to You. As You never tire of me coming to You, may I also never tire of coming to You. Jesus, I trust in You.