The word “passion” comes from the Latin word passio, which means “suffering.” We can easily forget this when we speak of romantic passion, or the passion that someone has for a hobby or a sport. But in our reading today, it is very important to remember that the root of the word passion is suffering. Mark writes that when Jesus encountered a large crowd, “he had compassion for them” (6:34). This verse comes not from the end of Jesus’ life, but from a time much earlier, when Jesus performed his ministry in the region called Galilee. A movie about this period would be called The Compassion of the Christ. Not Passion, but Com-passion.
- Mark 6:30-34