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July 19, 2015

The good news for today

“When Jesus got off the boat and saw the big crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them.” (Mk 6, 34)

The “big crowd” comprises people around you—your spouse and family, fellow workers, and old friends, your neighbors in the neighborhood, and all the clerks at your grocery store, the gas station, and the clothing store—and the person you like to talk with on the phone. The big crowd includes “friends” on Facebook, people you golf with, the cousin you see now and then, your best friend these thirty years. The big crowd? Everybody you come into contact with.

Now your have two general ways to consider this crew around you. You might—first—see everyone just as events or humans to be dealt with: you pay your money and get through the line, you kiss your spouse and watch TV…you just drift through time above it all, floating on events from a certain height or distance, with a feeling of lonely superiority, or getting upset, or feeling content—handling each moment as a tiny crisis you need to meet and resolve. At times in life, you and I are like this.

Or else, like Jesus, you can feel the compassion, becoming a rich seed of hope and kindness for others. You can be a person really and truly seeing others with your heart. You can acknowledge how others are strugglers, like you—hiding fears, guilt and mistakes, putting on a brave, cheerful facade while her son fights disease, his mother is financially hard up, and their beloved aunt is depressed over her growing dementia. Each one in the “big crowd” carries lonely, hidden anxieties, confusions, and inadequacies.

The Good News—is that you—YOU—see these common aches of our humanity, this hunger for love and attention in others, and their great need for hope from you. People turn to you—not aware that you yourself have “just stepped off the boat,” and you might like some time alone. You are here to feed them the nourishment of heart that their soul waits for; this big crowd wants to hear your “preaching” actions—your encouragement, your attention and your care. You can bring that to them, each one.

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