Lent Devotion April 13-Living Compassion

Lent Devotion

 

April 13

 

Living Compassion

  Psalm 116:4-6 (NIV) Then I called on the name of the Lord:“Lord, save me!”The Lord is gracious and righteous;our God is full of compassion.The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

 
Luke 10:33-34 Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.  Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.
 
    Compassion comes easy to us when we are dealing with someone for whom we already care. Your child misses out on some achievement, you have compassion.  A friend is diagnosed with cancer, you have compassion.  A loved one of a friend dies, you have compassion.
 
    What is hard is to have compassion for someone we don’t like or someone who has hurt you. Jonah could not wrap his mind around the fact that God had compassion for the Ninevites and spared them.  The Jewish people who despised the Samaritans and would never have compassion on them.  And ok, I admit it, I really struggle having compassion for Duke. And yet God calls us to have compassion on the people we might have the least in common.
 
    A story that resonated with me was reported in November 2017: John Fitzmaurice, a 68-year-old service veteran, died on the streets of Boston — homeless, alone, and forgotten. With no relative to claim his body, it appeared that he would be interred just as he lived the final years of his life.
 
    However, when students at Catholic Memorial High School learned that John would be buried with no one in attendance, they decided he deserved better. And so, they arranged a funeral service and mass in the school chapel to honor this man who had served our country so many years before.
 
    Students served as pall-bearers and escorted John’s flag-draped coffin to the hearse as taps was played.
 
    School President Dr. Peter Folan said, “Paying homage to a veteran, to bring him to our campus, to provide the burial right he deserves, honor his legacy, and to help our boys realize that we have to stand with those that are marginalized, those that are poor, those that many in our community cast out.”
 
    Frederick Buechner wrote Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too. Jesus came and lived in our skin he knew what it was like and had compassion on us, enough so to die for our failings.  He calls us to have compassion on others.
 
    Prayer: Father thank you for having compassion on us.  Help us show compassion to the least of all we meet.

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