What prompts us to be compassionate? A few months ago, I brought up the Good Samaritan as someone who left his road in order to enter a new road, a road of compassion for someone outside his tribe.
Can you think of a time when you left your own road, your own plans for the day or your life, and entered the road of compassion?
If any of us are compassionate, it’s because it is a quality of God’s own self. Yet, we know many people would like to believe that God doesn’t feel. That God created the world and then just stays up in heaven, watching, but stays out of human affairs. Stays transcendent. Stays out of our business. We know that Christ Emmanuel – God with us – lived with us as a human among humans, and not indifferent to our sufferings.
Have you ever been asked if you are a religious person? Often, I think the asker wonders simply, if you’re compassionate – are you perhaps more compassionate than most people? Why else would you be religious? The world looks at us religious people and wonders maybe, where’s the compassion?
A few weeks ago, Jesus felt compassion for the people. 36”When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
In today’s gospel, compassion is the mission itself. Jesus sees the people again as sheep without a shepherd. “When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.” What we see is that the compassion doesn’t end with healing. His compassion extends to feeding all of them, including the women and children.
Just before today’s text, we read that King Herod kills Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist as a part of his birthday celebration. Such depravity! Continue reading “Ninth Sunday in Pentecost, 8.2.20”