“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd.” // Mark 8:2
I remember the first time I began leading a woman through the annulment process as a trained lay person. As it was a big responsibility, the situation called for pastoral care and tenderness. She began to recall her life story in our first meeting and shared the trauma, pain, and poor choices that led her into two different marriages. Now in a third marriage and wanting to become Catholic, she needed to receive two separate annulments. As I sat listening, I felt so deeply in my gut an enormous amount of compassion for this woman, trying to do the right thing in order to enter the Church. I was moved with pity, moved with compassion.
Have you ever experienced that gut-punch feeling, where you feel something so profoundly for another person?
In today’s Gospel at Mark 8:2, a Greek word (splagchnizomai) powerfully describes the depth of when Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for the crowd. The first part of the word (splagchna) means “internal organs;” the word literally means to be moved so deeply by something that you feel it in the pit of your stomach. One of the most common things we know about Jesus during His public ministry was how deeply He cared for people, all the different needs of a person.
Maybe you are like me and at different times in your life have felt like Jesus does not care about what is going on in your life. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. When something hurts you, Jesus is moved with compassion. When you are in deep pain, sin, or trauma, Jesus is moved deeply on a gut level. He always feel our sorrow deeper than we do. He feels it all.
If our God allows Himself to receive our struggle and hurt so deeply, shouldn’t we receive each other with the same tenderness?
Who are the people around you in life, at work, in your family, or community who need the same tenderness Jesus feels for you?
May each of us be His heart to all we encounter.He always feel our sorrow deeper than we do. // @amoderngrace Click To Tweet