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Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey
The plans for Mirabai Starr’s visit have been in process for a year and in ten days she will be here in Maine. There are still opportunities for you to experience her either on Friday evening at the University of Southern Maine, Saturday at Saint Joseph’s College or on Sunday here at Unity. At both USM and SJC we have expanded registration by offering live streaming at the events.
For the day-long retreat the cost is $35, and if you want lunch (which we recommend) it is an additional $7. To register go to our “Donate” button before Monday, March 9.
On Sunday the message was on compassion, “Moved by Compassion.” In Unity we see Jesus as our teacher and wayshower and the message was focused on how Jesus handled the healing of the leper. It comes from the Gospel of Mark 1:40-45.
Jesus is moved by compassion and stretches out his hand and heals the leper. The important significance of this action is that Jesus is breaking the law, violates the tradition, turns over all the cleanliness rules, is excommunicated and kicked out of society.
What does this scripture teach us? The leper shows the proper attitude toward Jesus, by kneeling down and asking for Jesus’ healing touch. There is a part of each one of us that is like the leper, that needs healing from Jesus. Each one of us has leprosy of the heart, or the soul. We need to go to Christ in our brokenness, our weakness, our frailty and vulnerability and ask for help, and keep going to him, and he will be moved by compassion, stretch out his hand, touch us, and heal us.
Jesus’ teaching of the lepers is that of compassion and we are his followers which means we must become people of compassion, too. Compassion breeds compassion… once we accept it, then we will want to show compassion to each other and to everyone on the planet.
Unfortunately, we are not that different from the people of Jesus’ time. We have a whole new set of lepers today whom we ostracize, whom we exclude and excommunicate and declare unclean and push aside.
Like Jesus, we must side with the lepers of our time,
• cultivate a heart of compassion,
• stretch out our hands,
• touch them,
• heal them, and
• welcome them back into the community.
We must reconcile with everyone everywhere. From now on, like Jesus, we are a people of infinite compassion.
I have given you just a snippet of the message here. You can hear the complete message in the audio file of Sunday’s service.
Let me conclude with this quote from Chief Seattle:
This we know, all things are connected.
Like the blood which unites one family, all things are connected.
Our God is the same God, whose compassion is equal for all.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey