Be Compassionate!

Two of Jesus' parables—the prodigal son and the good Samaritan—both related in Luke's Gospel, exemplify compassion in language unsurpassedly beautiful. In the former is recounted the story of a wayward son who, after straying from his father's love and care into "a far country," repents, returns, and is welcomed home by his father with overflowing love. "When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him" (Luke 15:20). Thus does the Master tell mankind of the eternal love of God, and of the compassion which men should hold for one another.

In the parable of the good Samaritan is related the experience of a man who fell among thieves, was wounded by them, and left by the wayside helpless. Two people—a priest and a Levite—going that way saw him, but "passed by on the other side," thus avoiding him. Then a Samaritan came along, and he, having "compassion on him," "took care of him" (Luke 10:34). The priest and the Levite, in the parable, lacking compassion, did nothing for the wounded man. The good Samaritan, full of compassion, acted lovingly, mercifully, wisely. Compassion, inspired by love, welcomed back to the abode of purity the one who had forgotten himself in the midst of material pleasures and excesses. Compassion, inspired by love, cared for and protected the other, who, wounded and helpless, was unable to care for himself.

Jesus always spoke from the depths of a loving heart. He laid it bare to his listeners, showing them the fullness of the compassion that dwelt therein. As we read his parables today, we marvel at the sincerity of their appeal. We gain an entrance into his innermost thought, and find it to be overflowing with love, love which was inseparable from merciful tenderness. In her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 18), "Jesus was compassionate, true, faithful to rebuke, ready to forgive." And a few lines farther on she continues, "No estrangement, no emulation, no deceit, enters into the heart that loves as Jesus loved." How strikingly her words bring out the fact that those who are loving and compassionate are free from the evils which deceive and degrade!

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Disease Is Mental
September 4, 1937

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