Compassionate Love ~Luke 6:6
In today’s Scripture we have some of the most consoling lines in Luke’s Gospel!
“Be children of the Most High, for He himself is kind “chrēstós” to the ungrateful (acharistos) and the wicked (ponēros). God is proclaimed kind! Chrestos is the Greek NT Word for kindhearted. Someone is said to be kind or considerate when they give out of pure generosity to the undeserving some beautiful thing. I feel one of the most beautiful things we can say about God is that He is kind. Where would be if we did not have His graciousness to enrich us! What a wonderful word your Son gave us when He said You are gracious to the ungracious and even to the evil or more literally, ponēros, people“full of trouble,”
To receive His kindness we must be merciful to others. “Be merciful ( oiktirmōn) even as your Father is merciful.” Lk 6:36 The word Jesus used for mercy is oiktirmōn. It is much more intense word than mercy. It means the pain of others generates a compassionate sound like oihe!
Years ago walking along the ocean I saw a mother of a little 4 year old girl talking to some of her friends near the water’s edge. It was high tide on open ocean which was quite wild. The mother lost attention of her daughter for a brief few minutes. She looked down for her little girl and she was gone! For a brief horrible moment she thought her baby walked into the ocean. She cried out in horrible cry her daughter’s name: Marion, Marion! That was 50 years ago but I remember that horrible scream like it was today.
That day I learned a great deal about the intensity of a mother’s love. That horrifying scream is a good definition of the biblical word oiktirmōn. We can’t forget that horrible scream of Jesus on the cross at His death. This scream was for all of His children! We can’t even begin to understand the depth of God’s love and concern for us, “and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Eph 3:19
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.