His heart was moved.

As part of her medical treatment, a woman had to give herself daily injections. Beyond the pain and burning of the shots, she sometimes bled from the injection site for several minutes. One day she heard a song that described Jesus as the “God who bleeds.” The next time she gave herself the injections, she imagined Jesus standing beside her and bleeding with her. Overwhelmed by God’s nearness, she was amazed that he would share this pain with her when no one else could.

During difficult times, we may feel as if God is far away. But in today’s Gospel, Jesus shows us that the opposite is true. In contrast to the unresponsive “gods” of gold and silver in the first reading, Jesus is moved with compassion when we feel troubled or abandoned (Hosea 8:4; Matthew 9:36). Unlike the inanimate objects that the psalmist describes, he is living and breathing (115:4-9). Rather than being unable to answer our cries for help, Jesus hears our every prayer and loves to comfort, heal, and free us. He is beside us at every moment, ever “close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:19).

We know this is true, but sometimes it’s hard to recognize Jesus’ presence. Sometimes, as this woman experienced, songs or hymns can help us sense that the Lord is with us. As we listen to the words, we may become a little more hopeful. We may remember that even when we feel lost, we can trust that God loves us and is holding us close. We may recall his faithfulness, that he has never forsaken us. It may not always be an instant fix, but music has a unique way of bringing us into God’s presence.

Just as he had compassion for the crowds, Jesus wants to be close to you today. Think about a song that speaks to you. It may be a beloved hymn, a carol, or a chant. Try to find that song and listen to it again. Maybe even sing along. Be open to Jesus’ presence as you ask him to speak to you through the words. Allow yourself to be comforted that he is near. Let God fill you with his peace, and trust that he is always walking with you.

“Jesus, thank you for loving me.”

Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13
Psalm 115:3-10
Matthew 9:32-38


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