“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, or they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:4-5).”

Sadly today, people have the “I could care less” attitude. The Archbishop of Paris told of three men visiting the Cathedral of Notre Dame. On a dare, one of the young men entered the confessional and made a false confession to the priest. The priest figured the young man was deceiving him so assigned him the penance of standing in front of the crucifix in the church. “Look Jesus in the eyes and say three times, ‘All this you did for me and I don’t give a D.’” The young man and his friends laughed as they entered the Sanctuary to fulfill the assignment. The young man looked into the eyes of Jesus and said, “All this You did for me and I don’t give a D.” Again, a second time…but the third time, he couldn’t say the words. The young man returned to the confessional booth, made a sincere confession, went on to become a priest and eventually the Archbishop of Paris.

In the Beatitudes, the second blessing /spiritual move is for those who mourn. Peter said: “Depart from me.” Isaiah: “Woe is me.” Mourning is the opposite of a careless attitude that doesn’t upset over the evils in our world or personal mistakes. It is the strongest term used as in the death of a loved one. An expression of mourning is critical to understanding God’s gift. It is not enough to know your sinful condition; you must feel it. Romans 4:4 “His kindness leads us to repentance.” A 4th grade Sunday School teacher asked the class what repentance meant. One child said, “It means you’re sorry for something you did.” Another said, “It means you’re sorry enough to stop.” It’s an emotional response. What once was a careless attitude of life without God transforms into heart connection to God.
The promise to mourners is they will be comforted. God’s desire is not to beat us down with guilt, but He delights in forgiving you.

Adapted from “Change Your Attitude” by Rev. Dr. William A. Lewis