August 6, 2017

Matthew 14:14 “Instruments of GOD’S Compassion”

I have noticed the interest of companies in doing works of charity and mercy around the world lately.  In our region we have food banks and food link, organizations collecting food and goods to redistribute their wealth. For example: Walmart, Tops, Wegmans and others. This week I received a call from a division of Strong Hospital. They were interested in informing our community free of charge about diabetes. In one way or another all share a common interest: Show compassion for the needy.
Watching a documentary: The Men Who Built America, the narrator mentioned the battle between Rockefeller and one of his counterparts.  The battle was to monopolize the market for oil and other energy sources. For years they both bought presidencies and all kinds of political positions. For generations they accumulated countless riches, power and control. The time came when they no longer competed for amassing and accumulating wealth. In their late days the competition turned into which of the two made more charitable works and donated millions to works of charity and compassion. The charitable works of our days and those that preceded them both lacked an element that only the Church can offer: Power to heal the human being from the greater poverty and misery. I am talking about the privilege of sharing God’s compassion. The Church is God’s instrument to manifest that kind of compassion.

The text that we have today gives us the eccentric part that nothing and nobody can offer: Matthew 14:14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

Two concepts caught my attention. Compassion and healing. Compassion. We share God’s image. Because we share God’s image, even our fall nature knew and felt, shared and received compassion. Healing. The only one with the power of healing is God. I discovered that there is an extreme way to describe the idea that expresses the compassion felt by the Jesus. Biblical commentators and theologians agree on the description. Compassion is to feel that the entrails, the internal organs are twisted, literally flipped. That abrupt twist causes a feeling that the heart seems to be squeezed, shaken so that it is distressed and the whole being filled with sadness. Just, try to remember a situation that moved you to such a deep and emotional feeling of compassion. What did you feel? How did you handle the emotion? Compassion, it is one of the few feelings that our reason and emotional sense share the same undeniable conclusion: I have to do something.

However, the compassion I feel is limited. Limited because I am limited; limited because I do not have the ability of incarnating other people’s feelings and reality; limited because I cannot be present or be an active presence all the time in people’s lives. But here is the other issue I did discover about my compassion. Compassion without permanent solutions, cure, or healing is a limited compassion. I did discover that my compassion is not effective because I say: I have compassion but I have issues when it comes to forgiveness. I have found myself dealing between compassion without restoration, compassion confronting my inclination for revenge or letting people manage what I understand they deserve. Today’s Scripture revealed to me that God’s compassion is always present with the intention of healing human beings, deserving or not. For God makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the just and on the unjust[1].

God’s compassion has a unique manifestation because it reveals the manifold manifestation of the God’s grace and healing power. God’s compassion in Christ Jesus comes with a cure for all human conditions and source of needs. Power that speaks of physical, mental and emotional healing, restoration and rehabilitation.  Grace and healing power demonstrated in thousands of renewed lives with a new beginning.

How we can model and share God’s compassion as a Church? Do you remember Mother Theresa of Calcutta? Why was the work of Mother Theresa so powerful? It was not her theology, message or eloquence. Mother Theresa’s work was so efficient, effective and permanent because she saw God’s image in all human beings. Therefore, she did not need a physical miracle in the people she served. Every time she faced a need, she was in need of a miracle, but inside of her. The miracle of feeling God’s compassion. What was the miracle? The miracle was God’s compassion and healing power moving inside of her challenging her to do something permanent. It was impossible to her to see God’s image in suffering, hunger, sickness or abandoned. What do I really want us to receive and to understand today? Our world is not in need of people that donate money or time. Our world is in need of a Church witnessed and filled with God’s compassion and healing power. Why? Because God’s compassion will move that man or woman to share their treasure. Where ever there is a woman or man fueled by God’s compassion and healing power, God’s compassion is present. They will be willing to let God twist their inner-being, wwith a squeezed heart by the undeniable conviction, and the response will be: I have to do something permanent. I am an instrument of God’s compassion.

[1] Matthew 5:45


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