Blessed are the merciful.
      —Matthew 5:7

Mercy has three elements:

1) Conception—seeing the need;
2) Compassion—being touched by the need;
3) Consummation—meeting the need.

In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite both saw the need (conception), but neither was touched by the need (compassion), or met the need (consummation).

The Samaritan “saw him” (conception), “took pity on him” (compassion), “bandaged his wounds … took him to an inn and took care of him” (consummation).

The coffee clan was discussing the grim prognosis for a little doll whose life depended on expensive medical treatment, and the plight of her out-of-work parents who were unable to pay for it. They were voicing their concern when one dear lady planted a seed: “I’m concerned $1,000” she said. By the time their cups were refilled the need had been met.

Where action is absent mercy is absent.

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