Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Daily - 12/3/08

Matthew 5:4

4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are they who mourn. Mourn what? Temporal things? My own misfortunes? Someone else’s? Hurt feelings? Sin? My own sin? The sins of the world? People have different opinions. In a quick surfing of the web, I found two basic viewpoints, with examples below.

(1) "Suffering is a purifying experience. In losing a part of our lives or something we value, we are given, with the Spirit's aid, a clearer view of God. We come through suffering to see things - our lives, especially - not just as they appear, but as they really are."

(2) "Jesus says, "Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted." If we want to live this Beatitude, then we mourn for all the sin and evil in the world which is so offensive to God. Then we weep for our own sins, knowing that we ourselves have offended God in big ways and small. And if we truly live this Beatitude, we weep for love of our Savior who gave himself up to suffering for our sake." -- from Homily from Fr. Paul D. Williams Jr. - Ordinary Time 4 A --

When I’m researching something and see differing opinions, I like to refer to ancient commentaries because (1) they’re written by folks who are heck of a lot smarter than me, and who have spent their lives considering such matters, and (2) they aren’t influenced by current trends. When I check Aquinas’ compilation of the patriarchs (Catena Aurea – "The Golden Chain"), the early church fathers tend to agree more with the second quote above. They say that that it’s more than our own trials, and that it’s about mourning sin – our own, and also of the world.

If you’re interested in checking some of that out for yourself, hit the following link:

Catena aurea Matthew 5 - Scroll down to verse 4