Blessed Are Those Who Mourn, for They Shall Be Comforted

By Wissam Nasrallah

In a time when the corona virus is wreaking havoc on our healthcare and economic systems, we all need to hear good news, to be comforted and reassured. On the surface, this beatitude fits the job description of a blanket blessing. However, when we look a bit closer, Jesus is literally saying, “Happy are those who are sad”. What does He mean? What kind of sorrow is He talking about?

In our last newsletter, we shared about how entering the Kingdom of Heaven requires a realization of our spiritual poverty and a subsequent crying out to the Lord for mercy by emptying ourselves of our pride and self-sufficiency.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

 This should naturally lead us to mourn and weep over the evil in our lives with contrition and penitence. This is what repentance is all about. The apostle Paul calls it a “godly grief [that] produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret” (2 Cor 7:10).

As citizens of the Kingdom, we also mourn for the evil and suffering in the world as God’s servants did in the Bible. This includes grieving over the terrible consequences of the Coronavirus.

The good news is that those who mourn in repentance will be comforted for “blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the  Lord counts no iniquity” (Ps 32:1) and there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). As for those of us mourning as a result of the pain caused by the fallenness of our world, let us remember that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21: 4).

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