February 20, 2022

A compassionate heart reaches out to many; the Gospel today reaches beyond our own circle to reach many others. This will be the constant call of Jesus. When he wants to say what His father is like he says ‘Be compassionate like him.’

Compassion is when we can walk in another’s shoes, and try to see, hear and feel the world of another, particularly in bad times. It flows from mercy, which is the biggest quality in Jesus.

We like when another can enter into our world without judgement and can accept us in love – Jesus tells us to note this and then practice the same.

The call is to be compassionate to each other and the earth! The letter of Pope Francis, Lauditio Si calls for a compassionate care of the earth, as we hear the cry of the poor: that we treat the earth with the love it deserves.

Compassion for others and the earth includes our gratitude. We can look deeply into the people we are close to and thank God (for them!) and for what we like in them and value. We can look long at creation’s beauty in the highest Himalayan mountain and the smallest plant and recognise that all is the gift of God. We are to care for the earth and till it, and accept the care of the earth for us, giving us food, drink and refreshment. We are to care for each other to bring out the best in each other. This is one of the Pope’s central themes about care of creation.

Lord, thank you for the beauty of the earth and of humanity;
may we reverence that beauty for it is from you.

Donal Neary, SJ