Through Lent with Pope Francis
Jesus, seeing the crowds of people who followed him, realised that they were tired and exhausted, lost and without a guide, and he felt deep compassion for them (cf. Mt 9:36). On the basis of this compassionate love he healed the sick who were presented to him (cf. Mt 14:14), and with just a few loaves of bread and fish he satisfied the enormous crowd (cf. Mt 15:37). What moved Jesus in all of these situations was nothing other than mercy, with which he read the hearts of those he encountered and responded to their deepest need.
After freeing the demoniac in the country of the Gerasenes, Jesus entrusted him with this mission: “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mk 5:19). The calling of Matthew is also presented within the context of mercy. Passing by the tax collector’s booth, Jesus looked intently at Matthew. It was a look full of mercy that forgave the sins of that man, a sinner and a tax collector, whom Jesus chose – against the hesitation of the disciples – to become one of the Twelve.Misericordiae Vultus
Jesus looks with compassion on Matthew
Matt 9:9-12 NCB
As Jesus walked on from there, he noticed a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. Jesus said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him.
When he was sitting at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners were seated with Jesus and his disciples. On seeing this, the Pharisees said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “It is not the healthy who need a physician, but rather those who are sick.”
Thought for Today
Whether the Compassion of Jesus was for a widow grieving for her only son, the hunger of a crowd, or a man, Matthew, wasting his life collecting money, Jesus wanted a better and more fulfilling life for people.
Are there any changes you can think of that would make your life more fulfilling?
Can you make such changes? Do you want to make any changes?
Gentle as Silence sung by Marilla Ness, written by Estelle White.