Comfort Of The Grieved Ones – A Proof Of Merciful Love

October 2014

On the 20th Sunday after Pentecost, the evangelical pericope of Saint Luke, 7:11-16, was read at the Divine Liturgy, referring to the Resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain. His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church participated in the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the chapel of “Saint Hierarch Gregory the Enlightener” of the Patriarchal Residence and delivered a sermon.

To end with the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude showed that the wonder made by Jesus Christ, our Saviour, namely the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain, reveals us the fact that Christ, our Lord, knows the sorrow of every human being, as well the measure of his/her endurance: “This wonder was not made at somebody’s request, because nobody invited Jesus to the city of Nain together with His disciples, nobody called Him to comfort the sorrow of the mother who was wailing her only child on his last way, from home to the grave. Yet, Jesus came right on His own will, having merciful love for the people grieved as a result of the death of their dear ones”.

Jesus Christ, our Lord, has come to the city of Nain to allay the sorrow of the mourning mother because He has mercy on all the grieved people who suffer. At the same time, He wants to give life to the young man who passed away, His Beatitude also said, further showing that: “We do not know what the name of the son of the widow of Nain was because the Gospel says nothing about his name or his mother’s. It means that the woman in mourning, namely the grieved mother who takes her only son to the cemetery, represents all the mothers in mourning, and the dead young man carried in the coffin represents all the young people who die causing much sorrow to the parents who gave birth to them and grew them up. Jesus Christ, our Lord, makes the wonder of the resurrection of the young man of Nain showing merciful love, namely love which suffers together with those who suffer. This merciful love is called compassion that is suffering together with those who suffer because of the sorrow of their soul”. The Gospel shows us that when the human’s sorrow is at the limit of one’s endurance, God comes to comfort and strengthen him/her, the Patriarch of Romania explained: “The Gospel writes that when the Lord saw her He felt sorry for her and told her: Do not weep! He, who would weep for His friend Lasarus, because he died, He who said Blessed are whose who weep because they will be comforted, surprisingly He tells this grieved mother Do not weep! Why did He tell this to the grieved woman if weeping is the natural manifestation of the sorrow in her heart? Because He knew that the woman was at the end of her endurance, at the limit of an overwhelming sorrow. Thus, when the human’s sorrow is at the limit of endurance God comes in with His mercy because He has mercy on any human in distress”.

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel emphasised the need of the spiritual help to comfort the grieved families: “Our presence near the families in mourning is necessary and beneficial for them. This is why the Church scheduled certain dates, namely well defined periods of time after the burial of the deceased one, to say prayers for their remembrance, and the priest and the faithful must be present together with the families of persons grieved to comfort them always. Sometimes the mourning people who have not been comforted in due time to give sense to their sorrow, despaired and some of them even committed suicide because they could no longer put up with the sorrow caused by the loss of their dear ones. Thus, we see that to comfort the person or family grieved is a great spiritual help and sign of good heart, a proof of the merciful brotherly love. In this sense, Saint Paul the Apostle says: Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.