“He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble.” —2 Corinthians 1:4
Jesus came to earth, suffered for us, and consoled us. It was “our sufferings that He endured” (Is 53:4). Because Jesus suffered, He is able to help others who suffer (Heb 2:18). Jesus had an extraordinary public ministry of healing, teaching, and deliverance. However, it was not by His victories but rather by His wounds and His sufferings that we were healed and saved (1 Pt 2:24).
We disciples of Jesus are privileged to suffer for Him (Phil 1:29). We make our sufferings effective by joining them to Jesus. Then we can find our joy in the suffering we endure (Col 1:24) for His people. A traditional Catholic saying to a suffering person is to “offer it up.” We could equally say “join it up,” that is, join our sufferings to those of Jesus, the Suffering Servant.
By joining our sufferings to His, we can be “other Christs” for suffering people. When we “weep with those who weep” (Rm 12:15), our compassion is authentic because of the depth of our own suffering. Others sense this and are open when we encourage them to invite Jesus to touch and heal their wounds.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims: “Blest too are the sorrowing, they shall be consoled” (Mt 5:4). Who will be able to comfort a mourning person? Quite possibly we who have mourned and suffered will be the comforters (2 Cor 1:6).
Prayer: Jesus, by Your wounds, we are healed (1 Pt 2:24). Through our wounds joined to Yours, bring many to healing and salvation.
Promise: “Blest are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs.”—Mt 5:7
Praise: Robert ministers the love of God to others wounded by divorce.