Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”Luke 23:42
When I think of Jesus, I see his loving gaze and feel his heart on fire with love. I picture his arms outstretched, ready to embrace me. As I pray, I visualize myself holding his hands or wrapped in his arms. Resting in his presence, I pour my heart out to him. He meets me where I am and lets me rest in him, constantly reassuring me that he loves me.
While we read the Gospel of Luke, we always hear of Jesus encountering and loving everyone he meets. He heals the sick and forgives sinners. He stops to talk to the outcasts of society. My image of a compassionate Jesus comes from Luke’s Gospel because of the beautiful ways that he describes him.
Luke wrote his Gospel account, as well as the Acts of the Apostles, as a convert to Christianity. Because of this, his writing expressed that Jesus came for everyone. The Gospel of Luke was written for Gentiles, or non-Christians, to show them that Jesus gathers them to him too. Luke illustrates our Savior as compassionate, loving, and caring toward all whom he encounters. Throughout the Gospel of Luke, Jesus meets and speaks with Gentiles, Samaritans, sinners, and the poor to show that anyone can inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
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In reading the Gospel of Luke, we learn that Jesus doesn’t deny his love or mercy to anyone who comes to him with a contrite heart. He showed kindness to everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable, and cared deeply for them. As we read Luke’s Gospel, we can learn from his depiction of Jesus. We can imitate Jesus and show his love and compassion to our brothers and sisters. We can show them that we’re here for them and we love them by spending time with them, giving words of encouragement, or wrapping them in a hug.
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