Jesus Preaches Comfort
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.“ Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.” “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:4-6
How can those who mourn be comforted?
The values of the Kingdom of God are upside down compared to the values of the world. The poor are really rich, the sorrowful really happy, the meek will inherit the earth. That is the strange message of the itinerant preacher from Galilee named Jesus, the most unusual of the travelling Jewish prophets of his time.
He gives an assurance, for example, to those who mourn that ‘they will be comforted’. What are people mourning about? The obvious thing is they have lost an elderly mother, or a sister through breast cancer, or a lifelong friend in a car accident.
But this man, Jesus, hints at something deeper. There are those who mourn over the state of the world – terrorist groups inducing fear into select groups, parents locking their children away for fear of a predator waiting to take them, body-frisking at airports and public buildings, deadly diseases and illnesses instilling fear; a sense of danger everywhere. The ability to feel safe while freely moving about is gone – that’s something to mourn over.
The state of the world – violence seems to be widespread – or is that the world’s fastest communications era brings it right into our homes by television, when previously we heard about it long afterwards, or never heard at all? Violence and fear sells in the entertainment sector. There is mourning over lost peace.
How…how is it that people can people be comforted?
First, by the divine promise that in God’s final kingdom all these evils will be reversed, and peace and goodwill will reign. With that thought in mind it is important to bring in the kingdom of peace and comfort through our words and actions. ‘Bringing in the kingdom’ is not something we wait for; it’s something we work for.
Jesus not only preached comfort, he gave examples of how we are to work for it in words and actions.
The family of Rockport works hard to bring about peace and goodwill into our community through Jesus' example and command to love one another.
For when the preacher Jesus left the earth, he said to his followers he would not leave them ‘comfortless’ but give them his spirit. With that spirit within, how could we not bring comfort to others who mourn? So, the circle is complete: it begins and ends with us.