In today’s gospel from the sixth chapter of Mark, the evangelist gives us a snapshot of Jesus’ eyes and attitude: “To See, To Have Compassion, To Teach.”
Pope Francis explained this remarkable seen in his remarks July 22, 2018, to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, before praying the noonday Angelus. The disciples had returned from their first mission and Jesus asked them to talk about the experience – and get some rest.
“However, this time Jesus’ intention couldn’t be realized because the crowd, intuiting the lonely place where He would have gone with the boat together with His Apostles, got there before their arrival,” the Pope said. “The same thing can happen also today. Sometimes we don’t succeed in carrying out our projects because an urgent unforeseen event arrives that upsets our programs and requires flexibility and availability to the needs of others.”
The Holy Father explained that, like Jesus, we have to adjust to meet the needs presented to us. Jesus, in this case, had compassion on the crowd and began to teach them.
“The evangelist offers us a flash of singular intensity, photographing the divine Teacher’s eyes and His attitude,” Francis explained. “We observe three verbs of this photogram: to see, to have compassion, to teach. We can call them the verbs of the Shepherd. Jesus’ gaze isn’t a neutral gaze or worse, cold and detached, because Jesus always looks with the eyes of the heart. And His heart is so tender and full of compassion that he is able to see even the most hidden needs of people.”
Does Jesus then perform a miracle? No, the Holy Father continued: “Instead, He starts to teach them many things. Here is the first bread that the Messiah offers the hungry and lost crowd: the bread of the Word. All of us are in need of the word of truth, which guides us and illumines the way.”