The Holy Gospel: July 14, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 10:25-37
Meditation: “From Sympathy to Compassion”

The word compassion literally means “to feel with.”  Not to feel “for.”  The latter is sympathy–a good thing, but not what the Samaritan felt concerning the injured man. To feel “with” was to enter the scene as if he were the man in the ditch.

The NRSV says he was moved with pity (v 33).  He had compassion on the man in the ditch.  He took action.  It came in three waves: immediate attention (v 34a), intermediate care (v 34b), and long-term concern (v 35).

When we see need, we must move from sympathy to compassion.  We too must take action, and do so with the same three waves of involvement.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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