Second Week of Lent
Monday 2 March
Daniel 9.4-10; Psalm 78.8-9,11,13 Luke 6.36-38

The centrepiece word of today’s Gospel is ‘compassion’. Taken literally this means the virtue or capacity to ‘suffer with’ and it connotes emotion, a movement of the heart or even our very innards at the misfortune or sorrow of another. Compassion can, and has, triggered actions of the most heroic kind. We might think of St Francis embracing the leper in times past or of the work of Mother Theresa and her sisters more recently. Yet, withal, I am very taken with Ronald Rolheiser’s preferred translation of the verb patior – which though normally expressed as ‘passion’ can also be rendered as ‘passivity.’

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