Reflections of God's Goodness
What is one powerful change we can make today to create a greater sense of well-being for ourselves and others? Think of what could happen if each of us decided to use the new year as an impetus to become more compassionate people.
Scripture tells us that:
The Lord is gracious and merciful; The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.
Compassion comes from the Latin, “compati”, meaning to suffer with. Compassion puts something of yourself on the line—maybe your time or your money, perhaps your effort or your skills. Compassion is not waiting but doing—not watching but helping.
This is what God does…He walks beside us, bears our suffering—He is with us—He is for us. This is what He wants us to do for each other.
As always, Jesus shows us the way.
Remember the widow of Nain? She was crying, mourning the death of her only Son. “When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, ‘don’t cry’.” But Jesus didn’t stop there, because He could feel the pain of her loss, He could not stop with just words—He needed to act. So, He reached out and said, “Young man, I bid to you get up!” (Luke 7:14) Jesus’ compassion changed everything. It brought life where there was only pain and loss.
Jesus always responded to the people He encountered—the sick, the suffering, the hungry, the thirsty—with real help. Jesus spoke soothing words. He reached out with a touch, healing the sick or feeding the hungry—because He cared. He wanted to make things better.
We can resolve to be more like Jesus in the coming year.
Compassion can be expressed as acts of kindness, caring and support that lift others up! Compassion is an attitude, a virtue, a way of seeing and doing.
Here are some ways to express compassion: Challenge yourself to smile more. Open the door for someone. Speak encouraging words, “You can do it!”, “Good job!” Perform small acts of kindness, say thank you, and express gratitude. These small seeds of compassion can grow into big changes—in the lives of those we touch, in our own hearts and in the world around us.
Pray specifically to become a more compassionate person. Think of someone you know who is in need. What keeps you from reaching out?
May 2018 bring you many opportunities to practice and grow in compassion.
Happy New Year!
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn, SNDdeN
Director of Development
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice,
O earth, break forth into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted ones.”