Choose one of the following Scriptures for Lectio divina:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 NIV)
These are strange times. France has been on lockdown since 21st March, now extended to 11th May. My rational professional brain side is going, yes, this is vital, to relieve overwhelming strain on healthcare establishments, to avoid further deaths, deaths I see in statistics I need to read everyday, in phone calls from nursing homes and hospitals, in the strain of the faces of nurses and doctors I meet. Yet, my emotional personal brain part mourns, each time I drive on empty roads, by familiar places with blinds drawn, park gates locked up, hear fear and loneliness in the voices of friends and family, and wonder when this will ever end.
In the first reading, Paul tells the church to praise God, to remember He is the Father of compassion, God of all comfort. Paul speaks from personal experience, having lived through all kinds of suffering, broken relationships illnesses calamities threats loneliness. In the second reading, Jesus Himself preached to the people following Him, this deep and difficult message, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Then He himself stepped into pain and death, so that the Holy Spirit, Comforter, may come and dwell, within us.
So today, Paul is still saying to us, Listen, in all, all my troubles, times of raw messy difficult up down overwhelming pain loneliness deep suffering, God comforted me. And in receiving this comfort from God, I may in turn comfort you. He will meet you, in your troubles, times of raw messy difficult up down overwhelming pain loneliness deep suffering. Wait. Open your arms. Receive. His comfort. His comforting Presence. He is here. He is with you. Rest. In Him.
Then. As your spirit lifts, go. Comfort others, with the comfort you have received, from our Father of compassion, God of all comfort.
Prayer of Response:
“Father, You are good, and all you do is good. Help me today, to give to you what I cannot carry alone, so that I may know your comfort, tender, merciful, true. And according to your good will, let me then comfort others, with the comfort I have received from you. Thank you. Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Submitted by Kae Ting Trouilloud.
Kae lives in France with her husband, three kids and a black dog named Skittlz. She is trying to manage a bug named SARS-CoV-2 during the day as an infection control pharmacist, and is thankful for comfort and support in these strange times. She is dean of the bilingual Lifesprings School of Ministry LSM-Zoé, planned in Lyon 2020-2022.