Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people."
"I'm starving!" Is that what you said when you got home from school today? Many of us have seen pictures of hungry people but have never experienced real hunger. Many others, however, go to bed hungry every night-or even die of starvation. It's hard for the rest of us to feel the shattered peace that has left them shaken, afraid, and without hope.
Poverty and hunger almost always go together. Hunger is a thief. It robs people of their health, their abilities, their vision, and perhaps worst of all their dignity as human beings. It leaves them not only with gnawing pain in their bellies but the awful feeling of worthlessness. Jesus, who always saw things with 20-20 vision, said, "I have compassion for these people."
Jesus did not first check to see if the crowd included Pharisees who had come to oppose him. Nor did he suggest others were unworthy because they had been attracted by his miracles. He "told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then ... they all ate and were satisfied."
May we be moved with compassion to act on behalf of the hungry. Having only seven loaves and a few fish was not a valid excuse for inaction on the disciples' part-nor is it for us.
Jesus asks us to use whatever we have to care for the hungry. He will ask us to give an account of ourselves.
Heavenly Father, how it must grieve your heart to see so many of your children hungry today. Move our hearts with compassion, and our hands and feet to action. In Jesus, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!