‘When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’.
Matthew Chapter 9 verse 36
The word ‘compassion’ derives from the Latin meaning ‘co-suffering’, or ‘feeling for another’ and is a precursor to empathy.
In other words compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another. It is often regarded as having sensitivity, an emotional aspect to suffering, though when based on cerebral notions such as fairness and justice and interdependence, it may be considered rational in nature and its application understood as an activity also based on sound judgement. The dictionary says that active compassion is the desire to alleviate another’s suffering.
The heart of Jesus is characterised by compassion. He had an ability to enter into the lives of others, particularly the lost and the needy and they knew he cared. He seemed to carer for them with a greater care than they had for themselves. Sheep without a shepherd do silly things. They wander off, go round in circles, stand on dangerous ledges or in the middle of the road. Thus it is with us.
Prayer is the field where compassion is sown for those near and far away. Call to mind those who feel harassed and helpless and pray for the compassion that Jesus had so that we may recognise those in need around us and be shepherd to them.
With love and every blessing