“His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd…”

We continue in Mark chapter six (vv. 30-34) with the return of the apostles (sent in vv. 7-12 which we did not read two days ago because of the Feast of the Presentation).  After they report to Jesus “all they had done and taught” (v. 30), Jesus called for the group to get away from the crowds so they could rest and eat.  They tried to get away by boat but, word got out and, they were followed.  Jesus felt and thought the words above and “began to teach them many things.” (v.34)  What is our disposition when we encounter a lost soul — maybe someone, even a person very close to us — who has gone or is going down the wrong path?  Do we pity him and recognize him as a lost sheep who Jesus cares for deeply and who Jesus will seek after relentlessly (cf. Mt 18:12-14)?  We must be the Lord’s instruments in bringing that person back to the light.  A kind word, a gentle but firm rebuke, the example of our lives, and above all, prayer are all tools that are ours through the working of grace.  But we must first always remember: “Physican, heal thyself” (Lk 4:23), so that we are as open as possible to the abundant graces that are constantly poured out on us.

 

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