Daily Word of Grace # 154 (October 16, 2020)
In his insightful and poignant 1979 book The Wounded Healer the late Catholic priest and scholar Henri Nouwen describes the power of compassion: “Compassion is born when we discover in the center of our own existence not only that God is God and man is man, but also that our neighbor is really our fellow man. Through compassion it is possible to recognize that the craving for love that men feel resides also in our own hearts, that the cruelty that the world knows all too well is also rooted in our own impulses…For a compassionate man nothing human is alien: no joy and no sorrow, no way of living and no way of dying” (41). Scripture assures us that Jesus’ life and ministry were rooted in and motivated by compassion: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). This compassion moved Jesus so much that he died on the cross to atone for “the cruelty that the world knows all too well” (and that you also know all too well). And when the Risen Jesus sees you he is still moved with compassion. There is indeed “no joy and no sorrow, no way of living and no way of dying” beyond Jesus’ the scope of Jesus’ compassion. Jesus knows the specific ways you may be “harassed and helpless” in your life, as well as the “craving for love” that resides in you. Nothing in your life is beyond the compassion of Jesus.
Love and Prayers,