To have compassion


Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues,

preaching the gospel of the kingdom,

and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)


We continually want to learn from Jesus, our true leader, "the author and finisher of our faith". Only by letting ourselves be inspired by Him and following his example will we be able to reduce the possibility of errors and the risk of failure. Certainly he was humanly tireless, according to the account of Matthew, traveling "all the cities and villages" of his territory, "teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every sickness". Despite the profuse effort, he often had to deal with widespread disbelief (Mark 6:6), which limited his action. In front of the crowds, Jesus realizes that the need was greater than what he could do alone. Yet he does not give up, nor is he discouraged and slows his action. Something special animates his mission: compassion, the maximum of vitality and love for life. "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). "Move with compassion" is one of the verbs that best characterizes the action of Jesus among the people, and its use in the New Testament is directed only to him. Compassion literally means "to suffer with". God is not far from the suffering of anyone, but embraces those who suffer. Jesus has borne our suffering upon himself.
Matthew Fox, the internationally renowned theologian, in his book "A Spirituality Named Compassion" (Inner Tradition Publisher, 1979) considers different areas of human life - religion, psychology, science, economics and politics - and observes the deepest human fears from the perspective of compassion, which according to the author "is everywhere. Compassion is the greatest source of energy in existence. Now that the world has become a global village, we need compassion even more than before, not because we want to be altruistic ... but because we want to survive". Often those who try to get out of the logic of "social climbing" to focus on a lifestyle based on compassion and respect are left alone, without ever finding support. Then it becomes a necessity to look to those who have had compassion and have had it to give their lives for us. Those who are animated by compassion see beyond appearances, just as Jesus saw the exhaustion and exhaustion, oppression and discouragement of those in front of him. This person then predisposes himself to treat them as "sheep without a shepherd", and without ever looking for an interest of his own and therefore "tearing them like a wolf". In the parables of the Samaritan and of the prodigal son, compassion becomes the motor of actions that save life: taking care of the injured person, celebrating the return of the child to the house.

Compassion is opposed to "the hardness of the heart" (Mark 3:5), an attitude of which one can and must be indignant, as Jesus does. The hardness of heart is guilty and to be condemned. The thing, at the same time, saddens a lot, because when the human heart, already the source of all evil, hardens, can only emit poisons and plot murders. The hardness of the heart is dangerous to the point of making us seem even "useless" Jesus. Only the eyes, enmeshed by egoism and wickedness, will remain fixed on themselves, without finding a way to look up to find out how big the harvest is and then consider the small number of those who work there. Jesus asked this to the disciples, to realize the need of others and not hesitate to do it right, and in any case to never be paid, because even though they increase their arms, it is necessary to pray "the Lord of the harvest who sends workers into his harvest".

Devotional 23/2018
Weekly Bible reading plan

4th  June   2 Chronicles 21-22; John 14
5th  June   2 Chronicles 23-24; John 15
6th  June   2 Chronicles 25-27; John 16
7th  June   2 Chronicles 28-29; John 17
8th  June   2 Chronicles 30-31; John 18:1-18
9th  June   2 Cronicles 32-33; John 18:19-40
10th June  2 Chronicles 34-36; John 19:1-22



Photo by Marco Michelini,

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