DAY SIX – FEBRUARY 6, 2016
INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK
REFLECTIONS FROM THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION
THE GREATER LOVE
‘I feel your pain’ speaks to the true definition of compassion in Merriam Webster’s 10th edition of the College Dictionary; “the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”. Genuine compassion is, after all, not lip service but ‘suffering with’ someone and actively intending to aid.
The Bible is replete with common parables on the everyday compassion of a man who walked amongst us, turning water into wine at a wedding, feeding the multitudes, curing the lame and unclean, and raising Lazarus from the dead.
Mother Teresa embodied compassion by walking in someone else’s shoes. She traded the confines of spotless church pews for the squalor of the streets, not figuratively washing away her own sins but literally washing the dirt off others.
Pope Francis demonstrated kindred compassion in his caressing the sores of Vinicio Rivera, a 53 year old man whose facial disfigurement is so great that people routinely get off the bus when he enters.
Washing the feet of the rejected and reviled, or kissing sores are, indeed, tall orders. If, though, the world is one race, the human race, should we not start with small, everyday deeds and acts of random kindness?
Surely, we can all better listen between the lines when we ask others ‘how are you?’; we can let that waiting car into traffic; we can smile at strangers; allow that person with only a few items to cut in front of us at the supermarket line; or maybe go the extra mile in patience with a difficult family member.
Christ saw the transcendent spark in all of us; calling on us all to see and embrace our common divinity. We can see Jesus in others. The light is there. We only need look for it.
We can only be in awe of the power of God’s compassion, mercy and love.
God has given us all we need. There is no substitute.
POPE FRANCIS MAKES A REQUEST
Weep not for what you have lost,
fight for what you have.
Weep not for what is dead,
fight for what was born in you.
Weep not for the one who abandoned you,
fight for who is with you.
Weep not for those who hate you,
fight for those who want you
Weep not for your past,
fight for your present struggle.
Weep not for your suffering,
fight for your happiness.
With things that are happening to us,
We begin to learn that nothing is impossible to solve,
just move forward.
“Peace, Be Still”
“To find peace—the peace within, the peace that passeth understanding—men must live in honesty, honoring each other, honoring obligations, working willingly, loving and cherishing loved ones, serving and considering others, with patience, with virtue, with faith and forbearance, with the assurance that life is for learning, for serving, for repenting, and improving. And God be thanked for the blessed principle of repenting and improving, which is a way that is open to us all.” Richard L Evans
Peace begins in the heart of each of us as we turn toward God. Then Peace is shared with others as we turn toward our fellow-man. As God’s children here on earth we truly are one family, and as brothers and sisters in that family, each of us has the wonderful opportunity, and indeed a divine duty, to show love and respect to all people. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”—John 14:27