What are some similarities & differences between mercy & compassion? Mercy is divine & has to do with the judgement of sin. Compassion has a more human face. It means to suffer with, to suffer together, to not remain indifferent to the pain & the suffering of others. It is what Jesus felt when he saw the crowds who followed him. As Mark writes in the Gospel, Jesus had asked the apostles to come away to a secluded place. The crowd saw them leave by boat, they understood where they were going, & they headed there on foot, arriving ahead of them. “When Jesus went ashore, he saw a large crowd, & he felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; & he began to teach them many things” (6:34). Let us reflect on the beautiful pages that describe the raising of the dead of the widow’s son. When Jesus arrived in the village of Nain in Galilee, he was moved by the tears of the widow, who was devastated by the loss of her only son. He says to her, “Woman do not weep.” As Luke writes in the Gospel: “When the Lord saw her he felt compassion for her” (7:13). God Incarnate let himself be moved by human wretchedness, by our need, by our suffering. The Greek verb that indicates this compassion is [splanchnizomai], which derives from the word that indicates internal organs or the mother’s womb. It is similar to the love of a father & mother who are profoundly moved by their own son; it is a visceral love. God loves us in this way, with compassion & mercy. Jesus does not look at reality from the outside, without letting himself be moved, as if he were taking a picture. He lets himself get involved. This kind of compassion is needed today to conquer the globalization of indifference. This kind of gaze is needed when we find ourselves in front of a poor person, an outcast, or a sinner. This is the compassion that nourishes the awareness that we, too, are sinners. (The Name of God is Mercy; Pope Francis)
Please keep our Vicar Rev Catherine Reid in your prayers. She has been in hospital for over a week with breathing difficulties, & she will have a caesarean operation on Mon 16th Oct. Soundbites from the Faith & Life Convention Belfast 30th Sept 2017 “the theology of Amoris Laetitia (the Joy of Love) “the imitation of Christ”: to act as he acted” “redemption = salvation is for all of us “Lord I am not worthy”: we are all sinners” “Christ knows who we are…ask sincerely & it is yours” “the Pharisees had their own way of being saved (self-earned) whereas the tax collectors & prostitutes eventually did what was needed.” “Jesus very generous in interpreting the Law “the stupidity of Jesus defies logic.” “essence of family life is outward & self-giving; importance of a mediator in family (to thank, pray & forgive.)”
On Mon 16th Oct BBC2 at 9pm “Abortion on Trial” (50 yrs since Abortion Act 1967) featuring 9 prochoice women & 1 pro-life lady (Rachel): her lone voice on the front line is discipleship in the raw & at its best. Please watch & pray. With my love & prayers. Fr Bede.