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Be compassionate

I once conducted a weekend retreat to a group of doctors in Antipolo. During the group sharing, one of them, a resident of Marikina, related that their family property was sold, which had necessitated the ejection or “buying out” of the caretaker-family. Did the owners do it?

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Instead of ejecting the family who had been overseeing the property for many years and had no house to call their own, the doctor’s family who felt pity on them donated a parcel of land at a corner on which their long-time caretaker could put up a house and live a secure life.

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It’s inspiring to know that there some kind people around who, despite the greed of some to amass more and more or even grab properties, can part off with something valuable to numerous less fortunate brethren.

The act of compassion of the charitable doctor and siblings reflects Jesus Christ’s compassion.

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If you read through the gospels, you can’t miss seeing Jesus Christ as a Man of Compassion. He healed the lepers, crippled, deaf, fed the hungry and in this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus sympathized with the poor bereaved widow whose only son died.

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The Lord had encountered a lot of funeral processions during his time. But why is this particular encounter so special that the evangelist highlights? We must recall that in the biblical times, the widow was a symbol of the grinding poverty and helplessness. There was no job available for women, nor was there any social security system for such people.

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So when Jesus comes across a widow who has lost not only her husband as breadwinner but also her only son who was her hope for livelihood, he was deeply moved with compassion that he restored the dead son back to life.

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Jesus teaches that as his followers, we should likewise have the spirit of compassion. We may not perform miracles as Jesus did but we can show compassion in various concrete ways.

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For instance, we can assist some needy we meet. If you can give something more than a doleout like some work or educational assistance, that would be more worthwhile. We can console the lonely and bereaved. To those weighed down with a heavy problem, a listening ear might help unload their emotional burden.

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Remember: We will be judged by God by how much we have shown mercy to the “least” of Christ’s brethren. In the parable of the Last Judgment, the Lord will say: “When I was hungry, you gave me to eat, thirsty you gave to drink, sick and you visited me…Enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” (Read Mt 25,31 ff.)

LAFF WITH GOD: St. Peter (to new arrival at Heaven’s Gate): And what good deeds did you do during your lifetime? New arrival: Well, I once gave an old beggar a P100.

St. Peter: Anything else? New arrival: I’m afraid no more.

St. Peter: Well, here’s your R100 back – you can go to Hell!

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Most charitable sport is boxing. Boxer’s biblical motto: “It’s better to give than receive.”

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Most uncharitable fish? Answer: Crustaceans because they’re shellfish? (Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)

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