The Gospel for today narrates Jesus’ encounter with the vast crowd. The people were so eager to touch and see Jesus. Most of them believed that if they touched or saw the Lord, they would be healed of any ailments or even demonic possession.
I remember when a television actress visited Tacloban City. As a fan, I endured the heat, sweat, and the large crowd in order to find a good place where I could best see her. The moment she arrived, greeted, and waved to her fans, there was an overwhelming burst of cheers and shouts from the crowd. I too felt so much joy upon seeing her. There is something about her that draws people. I cannot believe that the person whom I used to see and hear on television was in front of me. It was such a wonderfully memorable experience. How much more if Jesus himself were coming?
I can relate to what the people felt in the Gospel. It was Jesus’ love and compassion that attracted many people to Him. Despite the exhaustion, Jesus made himself available to everyone—a clear display of His hospitality. However, the most challenging is to stand out from the crowd, emerge from it and develop that personal intimate connection with the One you are following—not just being anonymous in the crowd or simply going with the crowd. Jesus would always takes notice of our desire for encounter and to Him, we are never lost in His eyes.
Today, Jesus continues to make himself available through the Holy Eucharist. The challenge is: How eager am I to come to see and be with him? May I always have the same enthusiasm that the Lord has towards every encounter.
By: Sem. Niñonel Setosta
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples.
A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.
Hearing what he was doing,
a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem,
from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan,
and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd,
so that they would not crush him.
He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases
were pressing upon him to touch him.
And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him
and shout, “You are the Son of God.”
He warned them sternly not to make him known.