Page 7, 6th November 1981

6th November 1981
Page 7
Page 7, 6th November 1981 — word of life

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People: Chiara Lubich


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word of life

This commentary suggests ways of putting the gospel into practice in everyday life.

"How blest are the sorrowful; they shall find consolation.' (MT5, 4).

AS YOU probably remember, one day in his sermon on the mount, Jesus revolutionised the human way of thinking: he called people "blest" who at the first glance seem the opposite of happy: the poor, the persecuted, the meek. those who try to restore peace to the hearts of men ...

So with this word that he brings to your attention today he seems even to affirm the absurd: Those people who aren't really blest — the sorrowful, the desolate, those who mourn — are blest.

You might ask: how would you explain this statement?

"How blest are the sorrowful; they shall find consolation."

'THE Messiah came in order to fulfill Isaiah's prophecy which announces the moment when those who are suffering wilt be consofed: "... •ihe Lord has annointed me ... to comfort all who mourn." (Is. 61: 1-2).

He knows in fact that the person who suffers is fortunate, is blest, because he is more ready to accept his word and so enter his kingdom. He knows that the state of anguish which the world is in can be transformed into a life of joy through Him.

Jesus therefore does not have a specific type of person in mind when he refers to the sorrowful. But he's thinking of anybody who's suffering. adult or child, man or woman. of any race or country. It could be for any reason: —a disgrace or a calamity, an illness or the death of a person dear to us. or the loss of our material goods or of our prestige. He's thinking of times of delusion, of silent anguish ...

Jesus is thinking of all these prople: and of you yourself if you are suffering in this moment.

"How blest are the sorrowful; they shall find consolation."

CERTAINLY Jesus in using the future tense of the verb is referring to that moment when God "will wipe away every tear. and death shall be no more. neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more," for those who hase suffered and borne their suffering well. Rel. 21:24). Knowing that all this will come about when his kingdom will be established stirs up hope in man's heart, hope which already alleviates suffering.

But Jesus, with these words does not want us merely to resign ourselves to suffering by promising a future reward. He also thinks about the present.

In fact his kingdom is already here. even if not in a definitive way. The kingdom is present in Jesus who in rising from a death which he endured in he greatest sorrow. conquered death.

And his kingdom is present in us too, in our Christian hearts: God is in us. The Trinity has come to dwell in our hearts.

So the beatitude announced by Jesus can come true from this moment.

"How blest are the sorrowful; they shall find consolation."

In his kingdom brought by Jesus, consolation can be a daily experience for you.

Of course there's a condition! That you live as a child of this kingdom and that you base your life on its laws, on the demands of Jesus.

He said that the sufferings which weigh us down should be accepted the way he accepted them.

He wants you to "take upyour cross, he does not want you to hate it or repudiate it, or push it away or drag it after you. You must love your cross. He wants you to place it properly on your shoulders. More than that; he wants you to brandish it like a flaming torch or a flag.

Then the miracle of the Kingdom takes place. God makes the cross light for you. You feel that you can carry it. and you reach the point of smiling amid the tears. Inside you there's a strength which doesn't come from you; it comes from Him. So you understand why he speaks of "an easy yoke and a light burden."

Religion isn't the opium of the people which puts you to sleep so that you do not react to suffering. The suffering may remain but there's a new strength which helps us to bear the trials of life, and to help others in their suffering; a strength which helps us to overcome our sufferings and to see them as he saw and welcomed them, as the means of redemption.

Chiara Lubich

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