When Jesus looked at crowds, He not only saw numbers but hearts. "Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart" (1 Sm 16:7). Instead of merely seeing fifty-thousand people, Jesus saw shepherdless sheep lying prostrate from exhaustion (Mt 9:36).
Jesus saw with His heart into our hearts. He will help us see with His heart by first showing us the spiritual condition of those we see. This will change the way we look at them. For example, when we are aware that people are in a serious physical condition, terminally ill, or have just suffered a death in the family, we will see them with a more compassionate heart. Likewise, when we see the lost, enslaved, and blind spiritual condition of so many, we will see them differently and our hearts will be moved with pity as Jesus' was (Mt 9:36).
Jesus also gives us His heart for the crowd by calling us to pray for workers who will announce His salvation to the crowd (Mt 9:38). Praying for workers for the harvest, we soon answer our own prayer. When we begin to witness to people in the crowd, we no longer see them as anonymous, faceless numbers, but as broken hearts. Our hearts break for their brokenness, and we see out of the abundance of our hearts (see Lk 6:45). We see with the heart of Jesus when we suffer with and evangelize those in the crowd. Open your heart and your eyes.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2005 through July 31, 2005.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004.