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Saturday of the First Week of Advent | Donna McCann

Today’s reading in Matthew’ gospel reminds us of the compassion Jesus has for us. The reading describes how Jesus went to the towns and villages healing the sick and that “his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus is interested in healing both our physical and spiritual needs.

Are we compassionate with others as we move through this world? Compassion means sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. At times being compassionate might come easily because the particular circumstances are tragic or we find we can empathize with a given situation. Other times, however, we may find ourselves in a position where we readily pass judgment or are harsh in our criticism and can’t find a way to offer compassion.

This is not about excusing bad behavior or not holding someone accountable for his or her actions. Rather, we are looking to see beyond the hurt by giving someone the space to move through a difficult time and in finding the goodness that can come from the bad. Often times, those who need the most compassion are the ones we find the hardest to give. It is during these times that we need to look to Jesus for the grace to find some compassion. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He feels for us and his heart goes out to us always.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to give of my whole heart and to have compassion for those around me as Jesus did. Amen.

By Donna McCann