Read Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26, Ps. 147:1-6, Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8

“You shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teacher will not hide himself anymore.” (Isaiah 30:19-20)

In today’s Gospel passage, Matthew tells us: “When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36). The word ‘compassion’ is a fusion of two Latin words, ‘com’ (with) and ‘passio’ (passion; suffer). To be compassionate is to suffer with someone, that is, to feel the pain of another.

God felt our pain, so He took our human flesh. This is the joy of Christmas: that we serve a God so compassionate as to be born among His creatures. If God could be this caring, it means there is no limit to what He is willing to do for our sake. Speaking as our mother, God said: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)

Why do we have bad days since God cares about us so much? Isaiah answers this question in today’s first reading. “Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teacher will not hide himself anymore.” By addressing God as a teacher, Isaiah wants us to see our tough times as learning moments. In every negative experience, God is teaching you a lesson.

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus expresses compassion through concrete actions. He preached to them to free the people from the darkness of ignorance. To free them from the bondage of sickness, Jesus healed them. He also released those held captive by demonic possession. When Jesus considered the enormity of the task, He commissioned the twelve apostles to carry on the mission.

Do not let anything bother you or weigh you down. Jesus did not ask: “How am I going to attend to the whole world?” instead, Jesus started with the little that was available. Start with the little you have. God will do the rest.

God cares about you. He knows it when you suffer. He knows everything that happens to you and is always ready to come to your aid. He may not work the way you wanted, but that doesn’t mean He is not working. Even when you experience pain, God works for you as a special teacher. Learn the lesson and have a better life.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, deepen my faith in your love and care for me. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of the 1st week of Advent. Bible Study: Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26, Ps. 147:1-6, Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu