Suggested Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
We would consider somebody blessed who is happy, but Jesus says those who mourn are also blessed. It is in mourning that we experience the comfort and nearness of God like never before. He carries us close to his breast. It doesn’t get any closer than that.
Paul writes that when we are comforted by God, we are able to comfort others with the same comfort that we have ourselves received from God. So the blessing is spread to others too. The first blessing, when we are poor in spirit, is a personal one, since we sense the deep loss inside of us when we realize that we had an over-inflated view of our own abilities to live up to God’s standards. We realize we could never possibly keep the law and its requirements without transgressing even on one point. James writes that if we have transgressed in only one part of the law, we are guilty of breaking all of it. This knowledge is overwhelming and we realize we need help from an outside source –that source being God. The second blessing, “Blessed are those who mourn,” has the capacity to start spilling over into the lives of others, since we are enabled to also share the same comfort we have ourselves received.
This second beatitude can also be seen as a progression on the first one, and not separated from it. Once we realize our spiritual poverty and how sinful we are, we experience mourning in our hearts for our sinful condition. A heart touched by God’s Spirit will always mourn when faced with its own sin. Such a one starts grasping the enormous grace that God offers and doesn’t want that grace to be in vain. The result is that one cannot deliberately keep on sinning, since he doesn’t want to displease the One who has shown him such kindness. Once the Spirit of God dwells in the heart of His child, sin becomes something that he is mournful over.
But this is not where it ends. As the Spirit works into our hearts what is pleasing to God, we are comforted in knowing that we are saved not because of the righteous things we have done, but by His great mercy. Nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ –nothing in all of Creation.
- Beatitudes: How They Connect To Each Other (thoughtsonscripture.com)