The 4th Friday of Lent

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”

As a deacon, I’m blessed to be involved in some of the happiest times in people’s lives, especially the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and marriage.  Those are the fun times and I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t enjoy them.  It’s an even greater blessing when I get to take part in the sacraments for my children and grandchildren.

But I am also blessed to be there for the saddest times in people’s lives, sickness and death.  You probably wonder how it can be a blessing to be around people when they’re the saddest, but it really is.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” Face it, we always need God but we need Him the most when our hearts are broken.

“When the just cry out, the Lord hears them and from all their distress he rescues them.” There is nothing that shows God’s power more than to see Him comforting people in distress.  And He works this great power through you and me.  I went to a wake Monday evening.  There was a long line of visitors so I stood there in line for a while.  [Here’s some inside deacon stuff.  I could have invoked my “clergy privilege and gone to the front of the line.  Nobody would have said anything.  But I wasn’t going anywhere else and you don’t want to overuse something like that.]  As I stood there, I watched person after person approach the widow and the adult children of the deceased.  Most of the visitors got the family to smile and a few even made them laugh.

What a great gift those visitors were to the family.  Evan a brief moment of gladness lessens the pain a little bit.  From experience I know that the family won’t remember what anyone said, but they will remember each person who was there.  God does heal the broken-hearted, and He does it through you and me.  That’s our calling as Catholic Christians.  We’re Jesus’ brothers and sisters.  We’re also His arms and legs, his hands and His voice.  When the just cry out, He hears them and He often sends us to rescue them.

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