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What is more difficult, to speak for eight hours or to listen for eight hours? What is more difficult, to speak for eight hours without eating or drinking, or to listen, seated for eight hours without eating or drinking? I think it is understandable that the speaker has a more tiring job than the listener. If the listener has not had food for eight hours, then the same is true for the speaker.

Yet what is striking in the Gospel story is that the speaker did not complain and say, “Won’t you give me time to rest? Won’t you give me time to eat? Won’t you give me time to drink? I have been talking for hours now and here you are, still insisting that I talk and console you.” Jesus had done so many things for others. He endured many things for the people and his focus was always on the crowd that was hungry.

He kept preaching to people with empty stomachs. The people forgot the grumbling in their stomach because they were so touched, not so much by what Jesus was saying, but by what Jesus was for them.

That is the love of God for us. He doesn’t care about Himself. He only cared for those who were listening to Him. He did not care about His hunger and thirst. He only thought of the hunger and thirst of those who were listening to Him. He had every right to complain. He had every right to be frustrated and exasperated. But instead of frustration and exasperation, He chose concern. He chose compassion. He chose to forget Himself.

May we learn that lesson today. Today, there will be people who will pressure us. There will be people who will make demands of us. There will be people who will ask so much from us. Give, and like Jesus, look at their need, not our own.

LISTENING AND SPEAKING
Mk. 6:34-44
Love Like Jesus

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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