The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
Commentary of the day :
Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Commentary on St. Matthew, 10,23
“He was moved with pity for them”
Jesus, God’s Word, was in Judaea. Following the news of the prophet John the Baptist’s murder, he went by boat – symbol of his body – to a desert place apart. In this desert place Jesus was “apart” because his word was set aside there and his teaching went against the customs and traditions of the gentiles. But then the crowds from the gentile territories, hearing that he who is the Word of God had come to dwell in their desert…, came to follow him, leaving their towns behind, that is to say each of them abandoning the superstitious customs of their native land and adhering to Christ’s law… Jesus had come out to meet them since they were unable to come to him, mingling with “those outside” (Mk 4,11) he led them within.
This crowd of those outside that he went to meet is very great. Shedding the light of his presence upon it, he looked round at it and, seeing what sort of people were surrounding him, he found them even more worthy of compassion. He who is beyond suffering insofar as he is God, suffers on account of his love for the people. His bowels were moved with feeling. And he is not just moved but he heals them of all their ills, he delivers them from evil.
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