“You are a person worth being loved and called to give love, not because anyone says so but because you are created out of love and live in the embrace of a God who didn’t hesitate to send his only son to die for us. ”
BUILT WITH BOLDGRID
- Daily Mass Readings
Watch the YouTube clip here. Reflect on how you interact with others.
Where do you need to practice intentional attentiveness towards another?
Offer someone a kind service today.
God of compassion and mercy,
Shine your light on me and help me see Christ in those I meet.
May I be your light in the situations I find myself in today.
Where does Compassion Really Come from?”
Many years ago, I was in a vulnerable position guarded by soldiers. My interactions with the soldiers were impersonal and forced, they restricted my freedom. At some point I ended up in a room with one soldier guarding me. He indicated for me to sit and sat himself, put down his gun and lit a cigarette. Gradually we engaged in conversation and I began to see not just a soldier restricting my freedom but a father concerned about his children’s education, a husband struggling to provide for his family and a man with the similar concerns and preoccupations as myself. As if by a burst of light, I saw a human being and the “cruel” soldier disappeared.
So often, if you are anything like me, the people we interact with each day are reduced to the function they provide for us, their role: the checkout assistant, the disruptive student, the man sitting on the gutter, the friendly neighbour or the soldier. We often need to step back and see a person in all their complexity as human beings. Once we achieve this, we can begin to show compassion towards that person. Once I saw that soldier as a father, a friend, a man; I began to see him. My way of interacting changed and maybe there was the beginnings of compassion.
Attentiveness, like compassion, needs to be cultivated; intentionally seeing the person before us with all their complexity as living, feeling individuals. We then see a human being, made in the image of Christ, with all the dignity that entails.
I have no doubt that intentionally seeing and interacting with others as persons, and thereby showing compassion for them, is “coming into the light” referred to in the Sunday gospel. In doing so we participate in God’s saving work.