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February 10 | Mark 8:1-13


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Fueled by Compassion

by Mary Alice McGinnis


How would you define compassion? Can you describe a person in your life who has shown you compassion? How is compassion different from empathy or sympathy?

 

 


In today’s reading we hear Jesus say, “I have compassion for these people. They have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” 

 

Jesus did not have just a deep feeling of empathy or pity for these vulnerable people. Can’t you sense the urgency in His words? The arousal of compassion naturally leads to compassionate action.  Something must be done for them, or they may “collapse.”

 

It appears the disciples sensed the call to action in Jesus’ words too. Jesus was inviting them into compassionate action. But just like us, they let their lack of visible resources stall them and turn their hearts inward, thinking, “What are we supposed to do about it?”

 

If you have been reading the book of Mark, you might remember that Jesus had done a similar miracle back in Mark chapter 6, where He fed five thousand. Why does it appear that the disciples so quickly forget? When Jesus' heart is filled with compassion and when He invites us into compassionate action, we need not rely upon ourselves. We only need to allow Jesus to multiply the provision and be willing to distribute what our compassion God provides out of His infinite storehouse.


When the Pharisees come to question Jesus to test him, I can see how often I am stirred by compassion, only to be tempted by ego. Compassion focuses on the needs of others. Ego screams, “I need to do something, so I can prove how good I am.” It makes me focus on ME, my resources, my goals, my plans, instead of leaning on God’s compassionate heart, His plans, His provision, and His Kingdom goals. 

 

Where do you sense God stirring up His compassion in your heart? What is holding you back? Where has ego been tempting you recently?


PRAYER

Lord, You are the Father of all compassion. Jesus, You are the embodiment of compassion. Fuel me with Your heart of compassion. Help me to rely upon YOU and YOU ALONE for the infinite resources we need to spread Your love to the hurting and vulnerable in our world. Forgive me for turning inward to my ego. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.






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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Feb 10

GOOD MORNING, MARY ALICE. FYI- COPIED AND PASTED THE DEFINITION OF "COMPASSION" INTO MY CALENDAR TO READ DAILY NEXT WEEK . THANK YOU FOR INCLUDING THAT FOR MY REFERENCE.

YOUR COMMENTARY MADE ME REFLECT ON MY "GOOD WORKS" . ARE THEY A DERIVATIVE OF EGO OR COMPASSION. HONESTLY, I ACTUALLY THINK 50% OF MY REACHING OUT TO THOSE IN GREAT NEED HAS BEEN BASED ON "HOLY SPIRIT" COMPASSION. THE COUNSELOR INDWELLS US AS BELIEVERS, RIGHT? SO WHEN HE MOVES IN US TO SERVE ANOTHER IN GREAT NEED IT, OF NECESSITY , HAS TO BE COMPASSION. WHEN IT IS MY "DECISION" THAT SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE I USUALLY CAN SENSE THE HIDDEN DESIRE TO BE NOTICED OR APPRECIATED FOR M…


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