“Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
When I think of the word ‘mourn’, I think of people who look vaguely sad, who perhaps stare out the window in silence. For me, the word just doesn’t fully describe the full gamut of grief – the wailing, carrying on, shouting in anger, moaning with guilt and regret – all the extreme emotions that come with loss.
Jesus says that those who are in danger of being carried away in their anguish and despair are divinely blessed, because comfort, ‘parakletos’, will come. Jesus also used the word ‘paraklete’ to describe who would be sent to comfort us after he left the earth. The early church believed this was the Holy Spirit.
Parakletos means ‘to walk alongside and to call’. In the old Testament, it was used to describe angels, prophets, and others who advocated before God on behalf of the people of God.
What I hear Jesus saying is that when we are ravaged by grief, we will be blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit. We will be enveloped, loved, comforted, and completely enfolded in divine Presence.
That does sound like a blessing.