In today's Gospel (Matthew 14:13-21), our dear sweet Jesus' heart swells as He observes His lost sheep:
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. When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over – twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
In the Monthly Message from November 2007, Jesus offers us compassion as we offer it to others:
"Our greatest goal for you is holiness because only in holiness will you find peace and joy. Look around you. How many have committed themselves to holiness as you have committed yourself to holiness? If you look at others, you will see that the Saviour can count only a few as His committed apostles. And yet, every person, regardless of their condition, longs for the holiness you seek, even if their longing is denied and ignored. My heart is moved to such pity for those who do not seek Me. Let your heart also be moved to pity. Show constant compassion, never judgment, to those who do not understand what they lack. I am trying to show you, My beloved apostle, that you have begun a journey that must be taken by each person who will spend eternity in the family of God. If others delay the journey, that is their affair. My beloved apostles understand that this journey, the journey to holiness, is the most important journey they will ever take. This is your first priority, My friends. Continue to make your pledge and I will see to it that you become holier."
Lay apostles, is there someone in your life who has hurt or offended you? Have you hurt or offended someone? As Jesus says in the Monthly Message above, "show constant compassion, never judgment, to those who do not understand what they lack." Strive for the Heart of Christ.
Thank you, Lord, for reminding me to love and not hate. To pray for bitter people or those trying to alter my journey to holiness. And to remember to dust off my sandals and move on!