Sermon for Sunday after the Ascension. 24/05/2020. Acting with compassion. Peter Mayen.

Peter Mayen Homily for 24.05.2020: John 17:1-11.

Acting with compassion.


Gracious and loving God comfort our wholeness by the power of Your Holy Spirit at this time of social isolation and stresses because of the COVID-19 crisis. Sovereign God help us to respond to the needs of your people, to listen with kindness, to be patient, to validate each other’s emotions and feelings with an affirmation with sincere compassion, honesty, and kindness through Christ Jesus. Amen.


What does it mean for us when we act with compassion toward another person as an individual or as a community?  How do we know when it is the best moment to respond with true compassion?

These questions allow and encourage us to ponder and reflect on the significance of reaching out in support for the members of our community who may be in dire need, with compassionate attitudes.  An act of compassion is both divine and a human’ disposition or attribute. It is a shared quality which comes from God our Creator and then flows over to us when we respond and act to reach down or bring someone up with a show of utmost mercy and compassion. Acts of compassion and mercy are synonymous in meaning and action.

Over the last eight months or so, we the Australian peoples have experienced several tremendous challenges because of natural catastrophes. We have been exposed to the threats and dangers of bushfires across our nation, droughts with colossal losses and now the COVID-19 pandemic claiming over three hundred thousand lives combined globally.

But, as Australians, the people, and the leaders in this country, we have constantly responded with the spirit of compassion, fair go for all and generosity, meeting people’s needs wherever they are living. We, the people of Australia, have been blessed with a smaller number of deaths in comparison with other nations, because we have obeyed, listened, and acted with compassion toward our leaders. There are many things we the people of Australia must be grateful for.

For example, we have been protected because we have embraced and implemented the health advice coming from national health experts through our Federal, State and Local governments, because they want us to be safe. The restrictions on our lives are painful, because we couldn’t physically be present for others, but the outcomes are worth celebrating because we have acted responsibly and well, with obedient minds and humble hearts for our safety and living, and now a lot of lives has been saved compared with other places, where the restrictions to protect people’s lives have been violated or neglected. The church community has been consistently providing worshipping services online and volunteering in delivering materials for worship and telephone visiting from time to time and providing pastoral care counselling services on the phone and other forms of media outreach.

Our National and State governments have shown compassionate care, by releasing funds to support jobs and families, providing rent subsidies during this difficulty, giving clear guidelines on the importance of high hygiene personal care and increasing childcare benefits for our frontline workers. Working this way while thinking and planning ways to step in and continuously providing and meeting other’s needs defines compassionate response. And this is what acting with compassion means. When we respond and reach out, stepping in and walking along side the person in need, we are acting with compassion, when we listen deeply toward one another without judging them, we are acting with compassion. When we listen and obey the laws of the land for our benefits and other’s wellbeing, we are showing a positive response as good citizens.

Therefore, friends, be encouraged, and let us together continue to act with compassion and mercy, let us be present and listen respectfully to those around us, while taking our own health into consideration during this time. My friends, out there, please remember to demonstrate compassionate care in your work and residential places. Be a blessing to others in whatever ways you are contributing to the wellbeing of other’s and the community in which you are living. Work with humility and show compassion toward one another, because it is very important for us and others who are receiving the benefits coming from kind actions.  Please let us together continues to pay attention for ways in which other’s are a blessing to us, responding by giving  thanks to God including those who have been in your life, supporting and praying and caring for your wellbeing with compassion and please be kind and gentle to yourself as well.

Because that is what Jesus Christ, our High Priest has demonstrated in the gospel of John 17: 1-11 today. He prayed for us, Himself and showed gratitude to God our Father for ways in which God has been the source of His authority and strength for our salvation. We know during His earthly ministry; many peoples were restored through Christ Jesus’ ministry and through the ministry of the Saints who followed His teaching after.

Therefore, my friends in Christ Jesus, continue doing good to all peoples when you can, keeping your faith anchored in God our Creator and be at peace with God. Knowing and believing in His compassionate and unfailing mercy through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We are not alone. God is present with us all. Act with compassion and let us together continue to be a blessing to others through the love and peace of Jesus Christ, Our Saviour and Friend.  Amen.

Peter Mayen.

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