Chapter 3: Compassion

“Just assume the answer to every question is compassion” (62).

I, constantly, find myself asking, “How can I be Christ to others?” or “How can I put my faith into action?”  As you walk along in your journey of faith, you may find yourself asking similar questions.  As Fr. Greg Boyle puts it, the answer to all of these questions is compassion!

At first, this passage reminded me of when Jesus would have meals with the outcasts: the tax collectors, the lepers, and the saints no one saw coming.  He succeeded by confronting the boundaries between the sheep and shepherd while sharing the gift of compassion.

After some reflection and prayer, I was able to put myself in Jesus’ shoes and truly visualize the boundaries that exist and divide us. Jesus’ goal was not to share the same message to the same groups of people as those who surrounded him. He was presenting improved ideas about the teachings and traditions that had existed for generations.

For Lent, we have the opportunity to reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as the sheep without a shepherd within our own communities.  I challenge you to allow yourself to be an example of compassion to the marginalized and oppressed within your communities.

Different than sympathy or empathy, there is no “victim” and no “healer”. Together, if we are truly living compassionately, we bear each other’s crosses and no one walks alone. We are Victors in Christ!

Hannah is a 3rd-year undergraduate student at University of Michigan studying History and Museum Studies.  New to SMSP this year, she is involved in the Faith Doing Justice team and as an office assistant.