The Good News for the Day, February 9, 2018 Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time (327) The “Dozen” got together with Jesus and recounted everything they had been doing and teaching. He said to them, "Come off by yourselves to some remote retreat and rest a while." Other people, though, kept coming and going in great numbers; Jesus and his companions had no chance even to eat. So they went off in a boat by themselves to a place where there wasn’t anybody. People saw them leaving, though, and many came to know about it. They ran there on foot from all the towns around there; they got to the remote place before them. When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with compassion for them—they seemed like sheep with no shepherd. He began to teach them many things. (Mark 6) People do not follow you and me this way—we think. But, as always, this is not so much about a history story, as about your life and mine. Others do look to you. We DO have crowds around us—people we meet every day who are like “sheep without a shepherd,” people eager to rise from their anger, hopeful to find solutions, in search of hope even, and desperate about a bad habit, an obsession, a sense of failure or a feeling of despair at the emptiness of their lives. Yes, these folks—often without their knowing it—have spun into your life and you, a follower of the Way, Truth, and Life, can offer compassion Like Jesus himself, you may feel spent. But like Jesus, you hear hurt and spiritual hunger in your friend, in a casual conversation, anxieties and depression, and listening, the two of you, in the lounge at work. You can notice a need—and tell a tale of success, an inspiring story about a surprising child, a recollection of an escape from an addiction that you heard happened. You can remind yourself and others of resurrection—of redemption after failure—not always religious—but a true story of change from down to up, of admissions that led to triumph, of the value of falling down. Good apostle that you are, you can often be a key to a prison cell, a way out of someone’s spiritual chains. By loving them—simply caring, respecting, listening, and actually hearing them, you shine God’s light into someone’s darkness. You are teaching someone the Way out, the permanent Truth beyond a current trouble, and a Life that endures, that is happy.