Scripture Reading: Matthew: 5:4
A Christian author wrote: “The man who knows nothing of sorrow is incomplete…” William Barclay explained that the Greek word for “mourn” used here is the strongest word for mourning. It is a sorrow which brings unrestrainable tears to the eyes.
Those who sorrow and mourn include those grieving over the death of a loved one, those who are in physical pain, and those who have a disabling condition such as a chronic disease. Those who mourn include the hungry, the homeless, the persecuted, those without hope, and those suffering from depression or mental illness. It includes those who feel their own shortcomings and their lack of love for God and for others. Jesus promises that each of us will be comforted by the presence of the risen Christ, who walks with us in our pain. We are also led through our experiences of pain to become comforters to others. The word that Jesus uses for “comfort” also means, “to encourage, to excite, to urge.” We become truly compassionate through our experiences of pain. We are enabled to be God’s helpers and to reach out in love to others because we know their pain first hand.
Blessed are those who truly mourn for their sins, they will experience the joy, peace and comfort of forgiveness. The boasting and self-sufficient Pharisee will not mourn for his sins or beat his breast like the penitent Publican. Only the prodigal Son experienced the joy of being comforted because he had mourned for his sins when in true contrition he acknowledged his sin saying, “Father I have sinned…” the elder son was not comforted because he never mourned, instead he was full of self-righteousness. There is no true joy without repentance and helping others.
The way to true joy and peace is through repentance and not hardness of heart. Blessed are those whose hearts are broken because of their sins and the sufferings of their neighbours, they shall experience the joy of giving a helping hand and the joy of forgiveness.
Acts 3:11-26; Ps 8:2ab.5.6-7a.7b-9 (R.2ab); Accl Ps 118:24; Gosp Lk 24:35 OCTAVE OF EASTER
Prayer Points:
1. Feel intense sorrow for your sin, repent of it and confess it to God.
2. Tell God about the pain that breaks your heart.
3. Jesus tells us that those who mourn are blessed. Help us to experience the truth of this mystery; bring healing and wholeness to those who are sick; and comfort those of us who have lost loved ones. Let us not be impatient under our own burdens and unconcerned about the burdens of others. And grant us the joy of salvation. Amen.
Exercise: Whatever be the cause of your mourning, God will comfort you.
Meditation: Psalms 51:17.