Daily Office Readings for Monday of Holy Week: Year 2
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.” (2 Corinthians 1: 3 and 4)
When I read these biblical passages I always try to seek out the timeless messages, those passages that are still relevant for us today. Paul identifies God as “Father of mercies and the God of all consolation.” He goes on to say that as God consoles us, so that we then are able to console others. This consolation that God blesses us with is truly a blessing. And just like God told Abram, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you:” (Genesis 12:2 and 3). So I see this divine consolation as God’s blessing that comes upon us and then we are to console others.
Consoling, that is, the listening to, and blessing of, the other, is so important today. We need to be spiritually present with our neighbors. Perhaps being spiritually present is another way we can be with people during this time of physical separation. A phone call, a text message, an email, any form of spiritual consolation we can do means a lot to someone suffering from loss of work, fearing sickness, stuck in their home and are at their wits end. Our neighbors need us and we need them, now more than ever.
God has blessed you with the blessing of consolation. Some of it is for you, be blessed and wear it like a new suit. But some of what God has given you is for you to give to someone else. See who God puts in your path or on your mind today and give them that consolation that God gave you for them.
I pray that God has given us, way over here in the U.S., the consolation needed for the Ukrainians. I won’t pretend to know how we are to respond to their conciliatory needs now other than sending money to organizations supporting them, and our own prayers to God. I know that language can be a barrier but full disclosure, I have set with people in the hospital whose language I did not understand and it was very much appreciated by the patient. I think the Holy Spirit bridges the language barrier. God has given us consolation to comfort us, and to share with others in order to comfort them, no matter who, or where they are, or what language they speak. We need to reach out to the people of Ukraine.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John