A Compassionate Shepherd

– Saturday 4th Week in Ordinary Time –

“As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.”  [Mark 6:24]

Can I invite you to do something which might feel a bit strange for a moment?

Imagine you are a member of the crowd who has hurried to meet Jesus.

As he and the disciples come ashore, you can see their tiredness. Then, you see Jesus as he looks out at the people who have gathered, you see the compassion in his face and then you see the moment when he decides to stay present to you and shepherd you. Perhaps, you can recognise this expression because you’ve worn it yourself, in moments where your kids, a friend, an employee or a family member need you to stay present to them.

What is it like for him to see your deep need for a shepherd and respond? What is it like to be on the receiving end of Jesus’ compassion?

In his address in Saint Peter’s Square (25th April, 2021) Pope Francis explains that Jesus is the true shepherd who “knows and loves his sheep.” He goes on to explain that “We are not a “mass”, a “multitude” for him [Jesus], no. We are unique individuals, each with his or her own story, … each one with his or her own value … Jesus is concerned about his sheep, he gathers them, he binds their wounds, he heals their ailments.”

Today, let’s pause and search our hearts. What is your unique story? Where do you need the tender concern and compassion of the Good Shepherd? Is there an area where you feel lost, uncertain, alone or hurt? Let’s invite Jesus to tend to those places today.


by Madelene Wilson

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