Crowds Follow Jesus Everywhere
Reflection on the Gospel of the Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
The introduction (6:30–34) highlights the contrast between Jesus’ desire for solitude and his concern for the large mass of people who come from “all the cities.” Since the crowds prevent Jesus and his disciples from enjoying the solitude they sought (6:31), Jesus’ initial reaction of compassion is somewhat surprising. Jesus’ compassion is not motivated by the crowd’s hunger but by the observation that they are a flock without a shepherd. His initial response is not to feed them with food but to teach them many things (to give them spiritual food, or wisdom). Undergirding this narrative is the metaphorical use of feeding for teaching, and the metaphorical use of eating bread for learning wisdom.
Seek the Lord like the deer that pants for water, hunger for Him and He will have compassion on you and provide you with your needs and even your desires.