Fr Paul Gooley reads today from the Gospel of Luke (6: 36-38) in which Jesus says to his disciples, ‘Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven’. Fr Paul says the atmosphere of the day is given by the first sentence of the Gospel reading. Luke gives us a generous and open welcome, ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.’ Luke sees compassion to be the most notable of the Father’s qualities. This compassion, or perhaps empathy, of Jesus is written all over the Gospel of Luke. Jesus feels for and shares the misfortunes of others. One need only think of the funeral procession of the son of the Widow of Nain, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow’ (7.12). In those days without a male family-protector a woman was helpless and had nowhere to turn in her sorrow. Or again, Jesus’ delicacy to the Woman who was a Sinner (7.38-50): he quietly accepts her homage and her love, without hassling or interrogating her. Luke makes the same point, most notably, in the parable of the Good Samaritan (10.29). When, at the arrest of Jesus (22.50), the disciple slashes off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus heals it. Even to the end this compassion continues: he thinks more of the sorrows of the Daughters of Jerusalem than for himself as he goes to his death (23.28). Jesus would not pass someone in the street who needed help. Fr Paul invites us to reflect on today’s Gospel Lesson – Lent is a time to be compassionate to others just as God is compassionate.