In the Gospel reading for today, we learn about Jesus withdrawing from a pressing crowd – a crowd growing in numbers and merging in several different directions. He had cured many diseases and unclean spirits, and his popularity grew. However, with that popularity came expectations and demands from the many who sought him only for selfish reasons. Jesus’ reply is to escape from the encroaching crowd so he would not be crushed. He knew his time to be crucified had not yet arrived, so he sought refuge with his trusted disciples. His disciples had a boat ready for him and followed Jesus, not to be cured, nor for their benefit, but to become the fishermen of souls that Jesus was going to leave beyond to follow his teachings and preaching of his gift of salvation for the world.
Standing on our own shores of Galilee, may we be like the disciples following Jesus to hear, believe, and live the Gospel – and not be just another loud voice in the crowd, continuously pressing upon our Lord to grant favors only for our wellbeing. But instead, may we be the light and love of God for all those we encounter as we journey together to the promised land.
Let us pray:
May we grow in faith and trust to imitate Saint Peter Julian Eymard in saying “yes” to Jesus’ invitation to follow him – without fear or selfish demands. Amen.