Jesus’ Compassion

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Bel San Luis SVD – Christ the King Seminary Quezon City

Tuesday 24th Week in Ordinary Time

I once conducted a weekend retreat to a group of doctors. During the group sharing, one of them, a resident of Marikina, related that their family property was sold, necessitating the ejection or “buying out” of the caretaker-family. Did the owners do it?

By no means. They, who must have understood Christian compassion, donated a parcel of land at a corner where their long-time caretaker could put up a small house and call it their own.

It’s inspiring to know of kind people who—despite the greed of some to amass more properties or even grab them—can part off with their material resources.

If you go through the gospels, you cannot miss seeing Jesus as a man of compassion. He healed the lepers, crippled, deaf, fed the hungry, and, in today’s Gospel, sympathized with the poor bereaved widow whose only child died.

Why is this particular funeral encounter so special that the evangelist highlights it? In biblical times, the widow was a symbol of grinding poverty and helplessness.

There was no job available for women then, nor was there any social security system for such people.

So when Jesus came across the widow who lost not only her husband as a breadwinner but also her only son, who was her only hope in life, he was so deeply moved with pity that he restored him back to life.

In the Gospel episode, Jesus teaches that as his followers, we should likewise have that compassionate spirit. We may not perform miracles as Jesus did, but we can show compassion in various concrete ways.

For instance, you can give something more than a dole out like a job or educational assistance. To those weighed down with a heavy problem, a listening ear might help unload their emotional burden.

Remember: We will be judged by God by how much mercy we have shown to the “least of Christ’s brethren” (read Mt 25,31 ff.).

Be compassionate, and God will be compassionate to you.

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