Friday, February 10, 2012

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business

“By compassion we make others’ misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also”.

Gospel text (Mk 7,31-37):
Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man's ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
"Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!")
And immediately the man's ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
"He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

Is it possible to have faith if we are not actively living it?

A lot of commentary is devoted to why Jesus came. His basic message was to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself. He came to spread a gospel of love, not of hate. This message holds greater meaning for me when I consider what it was like to live in His place and time

Jesus dressed like a Jew, ate like a Jew, loved to eat and drink, and deeply lived out his Judaism. That he engaged in questions of how to follow the commandments showed he cared deeply about them. He said there will be a time when we will no longer ask ‘Who is my neighbor?’, but ‘Who acts as neighbor?’

Are we waiting to be served rather than serve?

Rabbi Hillel, one of Judaism’s greatest teachers once said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. All the rest is commentary; go and learn”. Jesus takes this a little further. Levine sees Jesus as the hero of the masses, come to promote a more just society. His followers practiced daily prayer, shared goods in common, cared for widows and believed in trusting in God’s will. Of faith, hope and charity, they believed the greatest of these is charity.

St Josemaria Escriva offers us the secret to succeed in this practice of charity: «Do what you should and watch what you do». Is this how we behave?

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