A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”( Matthew 9:32-38)
“ . . . His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.”
I can feel the compassion of Christ as I meditate on this scripture. It’s far more than pity. It truly is deep concern mixed with compassion. He saw the physical and the mental anguish around him, He knew the need, and He responded with love.
Isn’t that where we are today? We live in a world fraught with pain, with anxiety, with needs so great that many remain unexpressed. We cannot claim to be followers of Christ unless we are willing to respond to the needs around us. But what is the nature of our response? It’s not simply the act of giving nor the act of responding; it is how we respond. We need to respond by seeing through the eyes of Christ.
We are asked to peer into the hearts of the people around us: our friends, family, co-workers, and lovers. He asks us to be present and enter into a relationship, however brief, with those around us, especially the one person whom it would just take too much to completely forgive. In truly seeing others, being present to them, and investing time in them, regardless of who they are, Christ wants to show us something absolutely incredible: his own love and commitment to us.
We are called not just to be “masters of the harvest” but to be Masters of the Heart.
Our world cries out for us and to us. Hear my pain, see my suffering, know my sadness, and show me your heart. Let me feel the warmth of your concern, the gentleness of your words as they comfort me, the knowledge that I am more than another need. They mean more to me than any material gift.
Jesus is calling on us right now to help Him heal the wounds around us. We do that by being present to the needs of another, by responding in love. When we do that, we will come to know and feel how much our God is in love with us. When we know the depth of His love, we will find it easy to see as He sees and love as He loves.
And your response is . . ?
Prayer of The Day
“Jesus, thank you for loving me. I accept your pity—your compassion—and I open my heart today to your healing and forgiveness as I will open my heart to those around me in need.”
Jesus always placed the needs of others first, before his own. Reflect on that the next time you “do not feel called” to help someone in need. The task to love and serve and heal is a mandate not dependent on our feelings. If you ever wonder what God’s will is for your life, it is remarkably easy to discover. Wherever you see someone in need, physically or spiritually, that is where God is calling you. And yes, that even applies to strangers and enemies and relatives.