June 15 2008 11th Sunday Year A

Scripture: Exodus 19:2-6
Matthew 9:36-10:8

In today's Exodus reading Moses goes up a mountain to meet God and talk with him. In Exodus 33:11 we read: 'The Lord would speak to Moses face-to-face, just as a man speaks to his friend'.

But Moses was exceptional. Most people at that time feared God and did not want to get too close to Him! Then God sent His Son Jesus to tell us that the true heart of God was gentle, kind and understanding of human frailty. God wanted warm friendship with us.

We see the true heart of God not only in Jesus' teaching (eg the kind father welcomes back his prodigal son), but also in the personality of Jesus himself. Jesus was so sensitive. He felt peoples' suffering with them. In today's Gospel Jesus sees people who are heart weary, oppressed, with all kinds of hurts. The Gospel says '...He was filled with pity for them.' The English word compassion means literally 'to suffer with people'. Jesus was, and is now, full of compassion for each of us. He calls each of us by name (as He called each apostle by name in today's Gospel). He knows each of us; we are not just a global mass to God.

Today Jesus sees our stress, the wounds in our hearts, our worries, our depression, our loneliness, and our human frailty. He sees how we are hurt by betrayal and harsh words and treatment. He suffers with us. As he took on true humanity, he has experienced these hurts with us. He suffers with us. As he took on true humanity, he has experienced these hurts with us. This makes him so approachable.

Let us go up the mountain of prayer to meet and pour out our hearts to him. Jesus says: "Come to me you who are heavily burdened".

And now let us get down to the concrete! This week let us spend at least five minutes each day in quiet companionship with God - by using our own words, or just tasting God's compassion with no words at all.