Help Wanted: Shepherds
In this morning's gospel for Saturday of the 4th week in Ordinary time there are two things happening here. First, the disciples return from their missionary work and Jesus thinks this is a good time for them to rest. They go to a deserted place as a group for this well deserved vacation. I will not elaborate on this point today because tomorrow's gospel has a similar theme. I will reflect on the importance of rest then. You can wait 24 hours can you?
The point that I would like to elaborate on today is what the writer, Mark, describes at the very end of today's scene. Jesus and the disciples disembark on their boat after being discovered on their retreat and as they leave the shore he sees the vast crowd on the beach. We can only imagine what he saw on the faces and in the hearts of that crowd seeing them float away on the Sea of Galilee. Whatever it was Mark says that Jesus' "heart was moved with pity for them for they were like sheep without a shepherd."
As I already mentioned we can only imagine what Jesus saw in the faces and in the hearts on the vast crowd. Mark does not elaborate but we can use our imaginations and speculate. They all flocked to that beach looking for Jesus. Some were probably looking for words of wisdom. Some just experienced the loss of a loved one who passed away and they were seeking support. Some were just diagnosed with a life threatening illness and they were looking for healing. Some were grieving the loss of a loved one and they wanted to know why God would take their loved one away from them. They also wanted to know where loved one is. Some were experiencing despair. Some were just feeling lonely and they were looking for Jesus to fill the void in their lives.
Jesus loved them all. His heart was moved with pity for them for they were like sheep without a shepherd and he began to teach them.
To this day there are millions of sheep in need of a shepherd to guide, support, heal teach and love them. Jesus is hiring people with hearts that can be moved with pity when they see and personally know "sheep" that yearn for the kind of love that only Jesus can give.
Jesus is not looking for a college degree but a heart than can be moved and filled with pity, compassion, love so that she or he can be Christ for a sheep looking for a shepherd.
Only sincere hearts may apply.