Compassion has been the theme of conversation for the last several weeks. What does it mean to be compassionate? Do my actions set me apart or am I nice like the average person? The dictionary defines compassion as, sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it, and that’s a nice definition but I think as Christians it goes beyond that. It is feeling their pain and distress, walking with them through the ugly difficult parts and above all the compassion followers of Jesus show ultimately points them back to Jesus. The best example I have of this is from when I was 18 and had broken up with the boy I had been dating for a year. I told my best friend and her response was to cry with me. She didn’t try to fix it, she just hugged me and cried. Eventually, she reminded me who God was in my life and what His plan was for me.
My best friend’s response is a great example of compassion, but Jesus calls us even further. He tells us even the pagans are kind to those they love, you are to love your enemies. So, what if we showed compassion to the people who annoy us, who drive us up a wall, who frustrate us beyond all belief? I can guarantee that it will be noticed, not only will it be noticed, but it will produce questions. Who are these people that are concerned about the annoying guy at school, work or the supermarket? Why are they different? This is my prayer, that in a world that is polarized, angry and hurting, that each of us does our part to be compassionate. It is my challenge to the youth I teach, my challenge to myself and now my challenge to you, Holy Cross, be compassionate. Show the world your great compassion to point them to a savior who has a GREATER compassion!