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  • Forfatterens bildeSt. Svithun menighet

Jesus takes care of the crowds

In the text on this Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 6,30-34), Jesus is surrounded by his disciples and the crowds. Jesus takes care of all of them. It seems that He does not bother with such a demand. He is aware of the people, of their problems, their diseases, their needs, and urgencies with absolute spontaneity. He is aware of his disciple’s and also the crowds’ formation and he spends hours and hours speaking and preaching (extremely long homilies! But neither He nor the people feel troubled for that). Even when Jesus sees that his disciples are tired, he invites them saying: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”, even when they are interrupted, Jesus does not reject the crowds who are seeking him. On the contrary: Jesus “had compassion on the crowd, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So, he began teaching them many things”.

How does Jesus do? Why that spontaneity to take care of his disciples as well of the crowds? I dare say the following: Jesus is Man (with capital letters) as God thought him: He has the entire human capacity to be father and mother (it is important to remember that the verb used in the expression “Jesus had compassion on the crowd” is purely a feminine verb as it refers to women entrails or their uterus). Women and men are made to live for the others, to take care of other people.

Human beings’ loving “organism”, in a spiritual, psychological, and physical sense is not made to end or become perfect in oneself. We have been created, thought, built and talented to take care of other people. For that reason, Jesus, who is human nature’s perfection, finds it so normal, nice, and exciting to dedicate to those who are close to him. That is why He can also say in another page on the Gospel: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.”

On the contrary, the selfish man loses himself. He thinks that he lives better like that; he thinks that by being aware only of himself he will be able to find rest and happiness. But that is the big trap in life: when we put our own happiness and welfare in the center of our lives, we spoil that capacity of giving ourselves to the care of others and we are lost.

For that reason, parenthood, motherhood, and other people’s care are the most basic and essential vocations in a woman and in a man. And then one can ask oneself this question: what can we do to make our children enthusiastic on these vocations? This worry is at the core of our Christian experience because Jesus has lived it and taught it: “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life will save it”, He repeated over and over again.

But just for that, and without any doubts, for many other reasons, many people pick wrong ways, make many serious mistakes and very soon in their lives find themselves without focus, confused and lost as sheep without a shepherd.

That is why Jesus is compassionate and gracious. He knows very well what is behind every person in need. He knows that there are sad stories that perhaps started with the best intentions, but finished in misunderstandings, failures, dramas, and tragedies. His compassion is like a father’s or a mother’s who are happy taking care of other people, but it also is the compassion of someone who knows the existential drama of so many people.

May our Lord give us the grace to persevere in our vocation, being in charge of other people and may He inspire the young people to discern and decide their ways in life with responsibility and generosity.

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