Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Compassion of Christ

The evidence is all around us. One glance at the front of a newspaper, one scan through the radio dial at the top of the hour, lend half an ear to the nightly news, and the message is crystal clear. We live in a fallen world. As a result, accidence, injustice, pain and suffering are some of the threads that have been woven throughout the tapestry of our human existence.

Some how most of the time I am able to go throughout my days without paying too much heed to these ever-present elements as they affect the world around me. Even though I have been given a daily reminder of these, and I have, all too clearly, seen the reality of our inevitable mortality. Sill, I am able to ignore these realities as they pertain to life on a national, and even more readily on a global scale.

Living relatively obliviously may be the most comfortable approach to life, but as I reflect upon the gospel message I am convinced that it is not the right approach. I know this, and I pray to see the world as God does. Yet, if I really understood what it is I am asking for I am not so sure that I would be praying such a thing. It is a dangerous prayer to pray!

To see the world as God does requires me to give my full attention to the suffering. It demands that I allow the emotional, physical and spiritual and circumstance of this sin-sick world to profoundly affect me. It requires me to seek out opportunities, and make myself readily avalible to act with compassion, hope, justice and mercy upon those things that have been brought to my attention.

May I be attentive to the cry of the needy; prayerfully considering my place in their lives. Lord, clothe me with the compassion of Christ. For in the afflicted, needy and poor we see Jesus in his most distressing disguise.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:35-40

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