February 2, 2018
The story of salvation history is the story of God reaching out to us. God did not stop with creation but continued to reach out to us in Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses and the prophets, and finally in his Son, Jesus. It is through the mercy and love of Jesus that we experience the tangible sign of God reaching out to us. The gospel scene today reminds us about how Jesus reached out to all those who needed healing. For many of these people, it could have been the first time that they ever experienced the love and concern of someone for them. I remember when I was in Bolivia, and saw so many needs, and how I wished I could reach out to all these people as Jesus did.
It is interesting that when the disciples find Jesus, he says, “Come on; let’s go.” He is inviting them to share in this ministry of reaching out to those in need. But, first, Jesus must reach out to them so that they will know what it is that they must give to others. It is like the story of the little boy who had a blood transfusion and asked when he could give blood. The nurse asked why he wanted to do this and he replied that he needed to give what had been given to him. Jesus reaches out to touch us, but we, in turn, must reach out to touch others. It is like the safecracker who filed his fingertips so that he could hear the tumblers fall more clearly. Jesus calls us to be sensitive to the needs of others and to reach out to them in their need.