Compassion is costly!

 

What should we be doing to inherit the eternal life? Has this question even been in your mind at any time of your Christian life? What prompted such a thought and what was the answer you came up with?

This question is very active, live and a continuous statement. It is not what we should do to inherit the kingdom of God, rather what should we be doing, now, today and tomorrow. It is not about what we have done yesterday.

Life after confession as was before is not good enough to inherit the kingdom of God. To inherit something you have to actually claim it. Living the Gospel, loving your neighbor as yourself and God, after confession, alive and active is the act necessary for eternal life. It is by living the Gospel everyday we claim it. It is not based on an act started and ended yesterday.

Every email I receive from Prof. Louis Welcher comes with a tagline that reads, “Practice random act of compassion”.

If there is anyone out there looking for an answer for themselves or someone else, listen to this tagline, “Practice random act of compassion”.

Compassion is costly. It calls into question our ability to take a stand. I read recently that those who are compassionate or tolerant are people who do not know what is right or wrong. Some call it all “Willy Nilly”. Are you willing be called “all willy nilly” for being kind to someone?

Why is compassion costly? We see it is the Jew who was not a friend of the Samaritan who is seeking kindness and mercy. It is someone outside of the fold asking for compassion. It is sometimes the enemy who seeks our kindness. Many times need for compassion will come from those that we are least willing to share it.

Random act of kindness is about rising above the experiences of the past to the need of the present. Being saved is an invitation into the radical love of Christ that calls for compassion that defies our natural tendencies even that of revenge and retaliation. Being saved is more than singing of the hymn Amazing Grace. It is living the grace of forgiveness.

Being called into the midst of a world that is uncaring of one another, Christ is inviting the lonely lawyer to the radical love of Christ.

On July 22nd 2007, I asked you all from this same pulpit what kind of person of this story are you in your personal and spiritual life? Are you  the storyteller, the robber, the priest, the Levite or the Samaritan. We are all given these choices in life and freedom to choose, to decide for ourselves, how we enter into the kingdom of God. I cannot sit complacently knowing Christ has redeemed me. What a waste of life if that is all what I am interested in, the knowledge of redemption and not the living of it.

Why do I bring this up again? It is because over the last few years I have encountered fears and struggles in the lives of people. At the deathbed, in the hospital room and in private conversation, I hear the fear and I sense the anxiety.

Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, If you ever wonder whether the kingdom of God is for you, stop worrying and start doing something about it. Practice acts of kindness and compassion to the stranger, the lonely, the prisoner, the widow and the poor around you. For I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me to drink. I was naked and you clothed me. Therefore enter into the kingdom of God. An act done without expecting a reward is the true act of kindness. It is the Nishkam Karma. (Self-less or desireless action is an action performed without any expectation of fruits or results)

Your act of kindness always brings experience of the Kingdom to the other. You make God real by what you are to those seeking God in this changing world.

If all what I do is seek ways to enter into the kingdom of God, the motivation of life is simply selfish. If all what I do is simply because I can go to heaven then I am still immature as I was when I was a little child. Do we ask the question, “what is in it for me”? If that is what it is all about, then Christian life is “dull and void”. I hate to say ‘null and void’. Because it is not completely null. It is simply dull and devoid of anything substantially great. At least such a person could improve on it a little more.

One day a Sunday school teacher asked a little nursery girl this question. What would you do if you happened to see a man who was attacked by the robbers and left bleeding on the road? The girl with all honesty said, “I think I might throw up”.

If you are still at a place where you want to throw up when you see someone different, then it is time to grow up. If the person you are looking at needs compassion from you, remember it is already beyond your desire to give it or seek compensation for it. You are spiritually left with no choice but to be kind as that is what you are blessed with.

Yesterday (July 9, 2010) His Holiness Dalai Lama said, “A compassionate attitude opens our inner door, and as a result it is much easier to communicate with others.” “If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy practice compassion”.

Compassion is living the Gospel, the Escathalogical reality here and now. It is not waiting for tomorrow to practice the random act of kindness.

What is this story all about? It is about opening the doors of our hearts to people who need our love and not judgment. This story is about inviting humanity to define who they are primarily in this world Samaritans or just the storytellers. This story of course not about being all willy nilly, but it is all about being authentically true to oneself in the world we live in with a wing to our neighbor.


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