Follower of Jesus (17)
Mar 19, 2017
Follower of Jesus (17)
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they will be comforted. (1)
To mourn is not just the pain involved with the death of a loved one, or the loss of the love of one you love, but so much more. We will look at these various meanings, especially in light that Jesus spoke from a viewpoint of eternity, not just from the local human point as we first think of this pronouncement.
If there is a God, why do so many suffer?
This question has been asked by everyone at one time or another. We see the pain the world has; the millions of refugees (16 million are displaced from their homes), hunger (a person dies from hunger related problems, usually children, every hour), poverty, untreated illness, and so much more. This is the greatest argument put forth by atheists as to why does not God do something to alleviate the pain in the world if there is a God.
And it is a very good question. Why does God allow suffering? Jesus answered with this powerful statement: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. Indeed, these suffering are mourning deeply, crushed in spirit and life by the twists of their life.
Humanity’s cruelty to Humanity
First we will look at the results of humanity’s unspeakable cruelty to humanity. These injuries are perhaps easier to understand, as then the free will of humanity is something that God would not interfere.
So: “They shall be comforted.” That’s nice. But notice: Jesus did not say how they would be comforted. That is where the rest of the Sermon on the Mount comes in: it is our task, you and me, to provide the comfort. We can only imagine the pain suffered by a displaced person, suffering from loss of home, safety, and everything they have known in their life. Most have fled with little or nothing, just with the clothes they could carry or wear. These truly mourn for their life, with danger of death at every corner.
Those of us who have not experienced this cannot truly understand the emotional impact of this kind of loss. Even if we lose everything, such as the devastating fire we had in 1984 when only the ashes in the basement were left, we knew that we were all right. We had no loss of life; even the animals were fine. Our insurance took care of immediate needs, and friends poured out to us clothing and things for a new home, which we knew we would build.
Yes, we did mourn our loss – and it was a loss, much like a death in the family. God did comfort us, giving us the awareness we were loved and cared for. We still had our community, our friends, and the means of comfort were plentiful and close by, giving us immediate comfort even while the house was burning.
But who can offer comfort to the 16 million refugees? 16 million?? They know that they can never return to their birthplace. If by some miracle they could, all is destroyed and they would be starting over, even if they could find food and shelter. They will not be comforted by some divine intervention, for that is our task. We are the faces of God in this world of physicality; and we bear responsibility in our response to this disaster that Pope Francis and others have called the greatest humanitarian disaster in history.
God will ask us why we failed to respond with love, why we failed to bring comfort to these suffering souls. Humanity is lucky that some countries have opened their hearts and borders to allow this massive stream of suffering humanity to come in. groups of fed them, clothed them, and somehow found shelter for them. These groups have also buried them when what was available was insufficient, and provided a modicum of health support where possible.
Our great nation has turned its back on this pain, and we pretend for all kinds of reasons to not hear the outcry of pain that is throughout the world. We pretend that this disaster is not ours, and we bear no collective responsibility to provide the comfort that is called forth by God. Those whose heart will not let it go provide some monetary relief, but what is called to bring comfort is food and shelter and, above all, hope. In other words, bring refugees into our nation for the sake of God, to open our hearts to the suffering and homeless of the world.
As our hearts become more aware of pain that others suffer, we begin to feel with compassion how others are suffering, especially the poor. As we let God lead us, this compassion leads to pain in our own heart. This pain is our heart mourning the pain of the poor, perhaps pushing us to some action to help relieve this pain in some manner.
Eternal Wisdom, calm my fears and sooth my worries. I place all my trust in Your Love, now and in the future. I know Your Love is a verb, not a noun, and is an active action that requires a constant giving of my heart to ease and comfort all the pain in our world. Your world You created is a working place for Your Love to be seen in action, and I place my trust in Your Being so that I will respond with love and comfort where it is called forth. I offer my being as Your arm and fountain of love to heal our world. I am grateful for this opportunity to be the Face of God where I am placed; I ask that You open my eyes to see the means to bring comfort in my world.
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