The WORDS in Other Words by Fr Dom Flores SVD (Australia)
Saturday Week 5 Ordinary Time
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd!” That’s the cry of Jesus when he saw the hungry crowds following Him. Being moved with pity or compassion is a strikingly characteristic trait of Jesus. He was truly a man of compassion. He was the Good Samaritan who took care of the waylaid man on the road. In his time he healed the people from all kinds of diseases…
Compassion remarkably is also the virtue of so many great and holy people like Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Thomas Merton, even contemplatives today. They stand out as icons of compassion — because their hearts go out for the suffering masses.
As a young missionary priest, I grew up to know MISEREOR, a development agency of the Catholics in Germany, inspired by the words of Christ: Misereor super turbam, meaning, My heart is moved with pity for the crowd.” It offers to fight worldwide poverty, liberate people from injustice, exercise solidarity with the poor and the persecuted, and help create ‘One World’. And my home province (in the Philippines) has been a fortunate beneficiary to Misereor’s compassion.
Similarly in Australia, we have an agency called: PROJECT COMPASSION. It’s a Lenten Program that aims to offer compassion to the many marginalised people especially for the poor and oppressed, in over 200 countries. Assuredly, every country has such compassionate agencies as well. Why not join and be an active partner! In this way, Christ’s work of compassion will continue even today through people – like you and me. May our hearts be moved with pity for the crowd!