Jesus said: “Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate” (Lk 6). Compassion means “to suffer with.” Jesus, in the flesh, is the Eternal God entering human history—and the human condition. God, being outside of time, has no history and is above all suffering. Jesus chose to be bound by both time and suffering.
The compassion of Jesus was based upon his awareness of what God his Father was doing in him and for us in giving to his Son the same flesh as we have. Divine compassion first embraced the heart of Jesus; then us, in Jesus.
For us that meant and means that God lets go of offenses. We don’t earn God’s forgiveness. We either do or do not respond to it. It is hard for human beings who cling to resentments to appreciate the great-heartedness of God. God has always reached out to very imperfect people well before they were ready to respond.
Eventually, Lord, I want to be taken up into the eternity of God where there is no more suffering. Now I want to be united with your very human heart, which is the only way to your Father’s house.