Blessed, filled with joy, are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
In the beatitudes, Jesus does not let us rest secure. Mourning is a place of blessing. How counter-cultural and counter-intuitive.
Today I recall those killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue about a week ago. But I also recall the deaths we experience here in Honduras – from poverty, from lack of medical care, from violence engendered by the lack of a functioning justice system or from alcoholism or misuse of alcohol.
As a deacon I have accompanied a number of funerals. It is not easy, but they often are for me times of grace.
People often need to be given a place to mourn, to let their pain, their wound, be healed by the light of day and the presence of loved ones. I never tell people not to mourn.
I hope, though, to offer them a place where they can experience the comfort of God – in the hope of the resurrection and in the love of those around them.
One of the passages of the Bible that sustains me in the midst of all the pain and death I see is this passage from Revelations 21:4, which is a citation from Isaiah 25:8:
He will wipe every tear from their eyes…
If I can be there to wipe the tears from their eyes, sharing in their pain and suffering, maybe God can make of me an instrument of his comfort.