Jesus is in distress. He’s still shaking the dust off his feet from that unhappy visit home when he learns that Herod has had his cousin John beheaded.
Jesus is spent. He withdraws to a deserted place. No wonder the disciples want to shield him, urge him to send the crowds away. They too must be dispirited. It’s gratifying to help others when you’re feeling good. But how do you summon compassion when you’re depleted? How do you move from self-pity to self-giving, feed others while hunger gnaws at your own belly?