We hear many times in the Gospels that Jesus was moved with pity and took action to alleviate another’s suffering. The pity and compassion He felt for another human being led Him to act.
When discerning what God calls us to at any given time, it may help to reflect on this question: What moves you to pity?
I am part of a Third Order Secular Franciscan fraternity and I’m amazed by the different ways God moves each of us to pity – so much so that we can’t always agree on who to serve with our gifts! One person is moved with pity for the homeless living on the streets. Another is moved with pity for the elderly. Still another is moved with pity for the lost and burdened. Then another feels moved with pity for the grieving. In addition, we all seem to have different ways in which we want to act on those feelings of pity and compassion. Some want to give money. Others want to do acts of service. Some want to sponsor someone in need overseas.
It displays that we are all called at different times in our lives to be moved with pity and respond in different ways as Jesus did.
I feel especially moved to pity the sick and in pain, those with stress/mental health concerns, infertile/waiting women, single mothers who are poor and unable to provide for their children, and children who are orphaned or homeless. These movements of pity have all transformed into various acts of service, giving, relationships, encouragement, and work over the years.
Some of these movements of pity started when I was very young when I felt the stirring as I read stories about child orphans, poor families, severe illness, and injustice. Others grew and manifested over my adult life as I experienced my own or others' sufferings. I’m sure more will evolve over time as I experience different facets of life.
So if you are looking for what to do next in your walk with the Lord or how to respond to the Gospel concretely today, contemplate what moves you to pity, and then take the next step. God worked through Jesus in His feelings of pity, and He wants to work through you too!