Reflection by Virginia Pillars
Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5A, 6-8 – Memorial of St. Ambrose
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them.”
The Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines compassion as a “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” However, Jesus instructed the disciples to “pay it forward” with action, not just a desire. He reminded the disciples they received without payment and to give without payment.
I take these instructions to heart. I, too, received without payment. I know the sacrifice Jesus made for me. In addition, I’ve received countless gifts of grace during my life.
The most important thing I can do is recognize these gifts. In Luke 12:48, Jesus compared His disciples to servants. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.
I’ve been given much. This comes with a responsibility to share those gifts. I can’t hide them under a basket. Jesus directed us to act as laborers for His harvest. I think of a worker as performing manual labor, physical actions. When I go to those in mental anguish and react with tolerance, tenderness, mercy, leniency, kindness, or concern, I carry the good news to them. When I listen without judgment, hold the hurting as they cry, guide them to resources for help, my actions recognize the graces I received. My compassion offers thanks to God as I put myself in His service. My physical presence allows Him to work through me. He stands outside the door for the lost sheep to discover Him and listen for His voice. They can get access to His touch for healing, escape their demons, rise above their circumstances, and join His harvest, too.
As I give without payment, I express my gratitude to God.
What gift have I received? How can I pay it forward as a gift to God in gratitude?
Lord, I look around and see many gifts from You. I offer them back to You with a desire to use them with Your compassion, to guide others to seek You.
Copyright 2019 Virginia Pillars
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