What brings us to pursue new ways of thinking or new ways of living? Sometimes the catalyst is startling and extraordinary. Mother Teresa changed her religious order and the direction of her ministry when she encountered poor people dying alone on the streets of Calcutta. Usually, though, the catalyst is more subtle and quite ordinary. Struggling with illness and suffering often leads us to change our perspective on what is truly valuable for us in life. Change in ways of thinking and living is a result of some kind of significant encounter with persons and events.
In our Gospel today, the crowds pursue Jesus who teaches them and leads them to a deeper encounter with him. He reveals Himself to be their shepherd and Teacher; the One who heals and cares; the One who leads them to rest and refreshment. When our pursuits lead to encounter with Jesus, new ways of thinking and living become possible.