Tuesday, September 13, 2016

When was the last time you went out of your way to be God-like? - Daily Reflections September 13, 2016

A Western Buddhist woman was in India, studying with her teacher. She was riding with another woman friend in a rickshaw-like carriage when they were attacked by a man on the street. In the end, the attacker only succeeded in frightening the women, but the Buddhist woman was quite upset by the event and told her teacher so. She asked him what she should have done — what would have been the appropriate Buddhist response. The teacher said simply, “You should have very mindfully and with great compassion whacked the attacker over the head with your umbrella.”
       Women during the time of Jesus had no legal personality of their own. They had no rank in society and were considered second-class citizens. Their only means of livelihood was the presence of a working husband. The woman in today’s Gospel is described as a widow. Needless to say, she had no means of economic support now that she had also lost her son.
        While carrying the dead boy out of the city, Jesus chanced upon them at the town gate. Jesus was moved with mercy and, immediately, He raised the dead boy back to life and gave him back to her mother.
       Biblical experts observe that this was the first time in the Gospel of Luke that the title “Lord” was ascribed to Jesus: “When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, “Don’t cry.” It seems that Luke is telling his readers that compassion for His people is one of the main attributes of the “Lord.” The last line says it most eloquently: “They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help His people.’”
       Whenever we practice compassion and help other people, we are often told, “You are God’s angel, you are heaven-sent.” In our heart of hearts, we know that we are most like the “Lord,” most like God, when we practice compassion. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: When was the last time you went out of your way to be God-like?
Lord, make me Your heart today. Amen.

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