“Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate” (Lk 6). Jesus is giving a model as well as a command. Since com-passion is feeling with, how can God be compassionate? The answer is suggested by another of Jesus’ sayings: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14). We cannot doubt that Jesus is compassionate, for Jesus has a human nature like our own and can suffer. However, Jesus is saying something more. Somehow, the human qualities which we see in Jesus are in the Father also. Jesus was humble of heart. We can believe that the Father is humble, though the Father is Lord of heaven and earth. We can believe that in some way the Father has a heart.
Therefore, the compassion of the Father is authentic, though the Father cannot suffer. We are children of God and are called to behave as God does. Through Jesus, the Father calls for compassion among us who are brothers and sisters. It should not be especially difficult for us to be compassionate if we have known suffering.
You have shown me compassion, Lord. You have asked me to do unto others what you have done unto me. Give me a heart of flesh, a heart that is able to love.