Blessed are the mourners, for they will be comforted. (Mt 5:4)
As Fr. Daniel Harrington, S.J. (Sacred Pagina, The Gospel of Matthew, pp.79) reminds, “the background is Isaiah 61:2-3 where the prophet’s mission involves comforting all those who mourn in Zion, where the occasion of their mourning is the devastation of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 587 B.C. According to Sirach 48:24, Isaiah consoled the mourners of Zion.” With this, we note that “it is not in the mourning as such that persons will receive the eschatological blessing. Rather, one of the characteristics of the true people of God is that they lament the present condition of God’s people and God’s program in the world.” (The New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume VIII, pp.179)
Fr. Michael Crosby O.F.M. Cap. has reflected that “in his agony, Jesus did not run from pain. Rather, he took it upon himself; he owned the brokenness and depression. Even though he admitted he did not want the pain or depression (Mt 26:39), by embracing them, Jesus received a deeper experience of inner peace as a reward for his fidelity. Comfort came to him in his mourning; he was blessed because his consolation had been ultimately in God.” (Spirituality of the Beatitudes: Matthew’s Challenge for First World Christians, pp. 80).
St. Ephraim the Syrian once pondered:
“O Lord, you gave him to us to be our joy and consolation. You have taken him away from us. We give him back to you without a murmur, though our hearts are wrung with sorrow.”
In our own times of mourning, how often have we received comfort and peace by joining our sorrow to Jesus’ Holy Cross?
NOVENA PRAYER: EXULTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
Jesus, Who because of Your burning love for us willed to be crucified and to shed Your Most Precious Blood for the redemption and salvation of our souls, look down upon us and grant the petition we ask for …( mention here)
We trust completely in Your Mercy.
Cleanse us from sin by Your Grace,
sanctify our work,
give us and all those who are dear to us our daily bread,
lighten the burden of our sufferings,
bless our families,
and grant to the nations, so sorely afflicted,
which is the only true peace,
so that by obeying Your Commandments we may come at last to the glory of Heaven.