Day three: Blessed are they who mourn
Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023
22nd week in Ordinary Time
“Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mt 5:4).
Since last Friday, during the evening Mass, we have prayed the novena before the beatification of the Ulma family, reflecting on Jesus’ beatitudes, which became for them the way to heaven. Today, on the first Sunday of September, we want to open up and receive the message of the third beatitude, dedicated to those who mourn.
Guided by common sense, we ask whether such people can be indeed blessed. After all, sadness is the opposite of joy and happiness. In our plans and dreams for the future, we constantly hope for success, craving an easier and more comfortable life. In so doing, we believe that faith will save us from problems, that God will free us from suffering and hardship. What, then, must we do to discover God’s consolation in sorrow?
Before we find an answer to this question in the Divine Word, let us apologize to God for all the failed attempts of our faith, by running away from suffering and sorrow, and seeking comfort and joy at all costs, often in sinful ways, at the expense of our dignity and faithfulness to Christ.
– United with Christ after the Eucharist, let us confess our sorrows to him and embrace the attendant suffering. Let us ask for perseverance, if God wants to test our faith. Following the example of the Ulmas, let us ask that sorrow and pain may never completely overcome us.
– Gazing at the Blessed Host, let us ask for comfort and support for ourselves. It need not, however, interrupt the experience of trial, but always leads to an understanding of its salvific role in the mysterious plan of God’s love. Let us ask for the ability to experience trial in such a way that we can draw from the reality of the cross the strength to die to ourselves, in total trust in God’s faithful love.
– Let us learn from the example of the Ulma that by finding consolation in the Lord, we are able, like them, to offer consolation to others. This will involve showing them the possibility of sharing in the mystery of God’s redeeming love. Let us ask for the ability to understand and uplift our fellow human beings, to show them compassion and empathy. In the depths of our hearts, let us discover what comfort we will be able to give to those of our loved ones who particularly need it.
Images credit: From the archive of Mateusz Szptyma. All rights reserved.
Learn More About the Ulma Family
Under the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II, Jews were indiscriminately arrested, imprisoned, and killed. Christians who helped them hide or escape placed themselves in the same peril. Josef and Wiktoria Ulma, who, guided by the parable of the Good Samaritan, which was underlined in red ink in the family Bible, sheltered a Jewish family in their village of Markowa. As a result, in 1944, Josef, Wiktoria, and their seven small children – one not yet born – were murdered by the Nazis. This biography tells the story of the heroic virtue and sacrifice that lead to their beatification.