Monday, August 7, 2017
Saint Sixtus II, Pope and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs, or Saint Cajetan, Priest – Optional Memorials
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. Matthew 14:13-14
Humanly speaking, Jesus’ heart was grieved by the death of John the Baptist. He loved John and was deeply saddened by his beheading. So He withdrew in a boat to a deserted place alone. But the crowds were hungry for more! They wanted to see Jesus and listen to Him. They knew many who were ill and wanted Jesus to heal them. So they sought Him out despite the fact that He had withdrawn from the crowd to be alone.
What was Jesus’ reaction? Did He look at them 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 our Lord. 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 never tire of coming to You. Jesus, I trust in You.