–– Sito di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA –– Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa A missionary look on the life of the world and the church –– VIDA y MISIÓN – VIE et MISSION – VIDA e MISSÃO ––
Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate. Jesus challenged us with those words and there is more in them than first meets the eye.
Jesus defines God’s compassion for us: God, he says, lets his sun shine on the bad as well as the good. God’s love doesn’t discriminate, it simply embraces everything. Like the sun it doesn’t shine selectively, shedding its warmth on the vegetables because they are good and refusing its warmth to the weeds because they are bad. It just shines and everything, irrespective of its condition, receives its warmth.
That’s a stunning truth: God loves us when we are good, and God loves us when we are bad. God loves the saints in heaven and God loves the devils in hell equally. They just respond differently. The father of the prodigal son and the older brother loves both, one in his weakness and the other in his bitterness, and his embrace is not contingent upon their conversion. He loves them even inside their distance from him.
And we are asked to love in the same way.
We do so by holding our personal and moral ground in a gracious and loving way. And, for this, we have Jesus’ example. He embraced everyone, sinners and saints alike, without ever suggesting that sin and virtue aren’t important. Indeed, a truly loving embrace suggests the reverse.
There is a time to be compassionate as God is compassionate, to let our sun shine indiscriminately, on both the vegetables and the weeds without denying which is which.
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