You shall be comforted

WHAT if we've done something wrong and regret it terribly? How do we get beyond this? What's the next step? If we're not to remain miserable and guilty, or to become callous, we need an answer; an answer that brings correction and reformation; an answer that brings renewal. In one of the Beatitudes in Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, we find an answer. Looking upon his disciples and the multitude, he said, ``Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.'' 1 What a range this covers! Those who are grieving over the loss of a loved one will find in the Master's life the joyous proof of immortality. Those who mourn missed opportunities will find new occasions and evidence of the continuity of good. Those who suffer from illness will find the comfort of spiritual healing. And those who are like the doves mentioned in the book of Ezekiel, ``mourning, every one for his iniquity,'' 2 will be comforted. How? Consider the following. A great sinner, a disreputable woman, approached Jesus while he was at dinner. She evidently had responded to his pure spirituality and love and had seen her life for what it was. She saw the great gulf between her way of life and the Master's, and she was overwhelmed with sorrow. She washed his feet with her tears. She wiped them dry with her hair. And Jesus, knowing her deep repentance and desire for grace, spoke to her simply: ``Thy sins are forgiven. . . . Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.'' 3 In that instant she must have felt the great gulf between them filled with divine Love. Speaking of this incident, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Her reverence was unfeigned, and it was manifested towards one who was soon, though they knew it not, to lay down his mortal existence in behalf of all sinners, that through his word and works they might be redeemed from sensuality and sin.'' 4 Jesus once spoke of himself as the good shepherd. He sought out in particular those who had strayed and were lost. He didn't view those about him as miserable sinners but as precious sheep of his Father's flock to be found, washed, healed, and restored to the flock. His spirituality enabled others to perceive something of their own spiritual nature and stature as the sons of God. The man of God's creating is good, and he does not deviate from the divine qualities of purity, integrity, and love. Christian Science teaches that our true self hood is this man. God's man is undefiled and incorruptible, the pure likeness of God, as the Bible teaches. Jesus gave complete evidence of this in his own life and demonstrated that we can bring forth such evidence ourselves. He sought out, not the righteous but the unrighteous, to restore to them a perception of their rightful heritage as the children of God. Jesus' life example, so filled with courage, strength, purity, and love, awakens individuals to their spiritual need; and when, like the repentant woman, we respond to the Christ, to the ideal manhood exemplified by Jesus, we find ourselves forgiven, washed clean, and restored to the flock. Mrs. Eddy writes of the Master: ``From him mortals may learn how to escape from evil. The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.'' 5 All those who mourn will find great comfort in the example, the teachings, and the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 1 Matthew 5:4. 2 Ezekiel 7:16. 3 Luke 7:48, 50. 4 Science and Health, p. 364. 5 Ibid., p. 316.

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