A Compassionate Spirit
You have already been told what is right
And what God wants of you.
Only this, to live justly,
To love faithfully
And to walk humbly with your God.
Christianity is a religion which invites others to discover what we have discovered. However, we are never believed unless our lives witness to what we proclaim. Preaching is one way of spreading the Good News, but we preach most powerfully by living the way of Christ - the way of compassion.
We can never claim maturity as a Christian unless we have a compassionate spirit. When we look at the preaching of Jesus in the gospels, it seems the only time he condemned others, was when they ignored those in need. He chose to stand alongside the poor.
The Church will truly mirror the Kingdom of God in this world when our predominant mission in life is geared toward Justice: setting the prisoners free. Let us reflect on the following:
There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The man also died and was buried. In his torment in Hades (Hell) he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” “My son,” Abraham replied, “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.
1. What do you think is meant by the great gulf separating Lazarus and the rich man?
2. Identify as many ways as you can how people are “imprisoned” in our world right now?