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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How is your heart? Is it moved by the pain of another? Do you move to console the isolated? - Daily Reflections September 7, 2016


CONSOLE SOMEONE TODAY
 
One of the most touching moments in the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines in January 2015 was his encounter with the young people at the University of Sto. Tomas. In that gathering, several testimonies were given by children from different sectors of society. One moving testimony came from a young girl named Glyzelle Palomar. From what I remember, she was an abandoned street child who was eventually sold into prostitution. After enumerating the series of difficulties life has thrown at her, she asked the Holy Father in Filipino, “Why does God allow these things to happen to some people?” At that point, Glyzelle broke down.
           Pope Francis did not really understand what was going on as it was in Filipino. After asking Cardinal Chito Tagle, Pope Francis approached Glyzelle and, without saying a word, enveloped the girl in a compassionate embrace. Later on, in his homily, Pope Francis said, “Certain realities in life we only see through eyes that are cleansed with tears.” As a parting message, the Pope encouraged everyone to ask God for the gift of tears.
      Today’s Gospel is the Beatitudes. One of the beatitudes read: “Blessed are you who are weeping; you shall laugh.” The ability to weep is the ability to be compassionate, to be moved by another person’s pain. The ability to shed tears is a sensitivity to the Gospel call to console the sorrowful.
          The next morning’s headlines showed the Pope in a tender embrace with Glyzelle. The caption read: The Pope consoles Glyzelle Palomar after she delivers a tearful testimony at the Papal encounter with the youth.
       The world console comes from the Latin con, meaning with, and solus, meaning one who is alone and isolated. To console therefore means to be “with one who is alone.” Those who weep have the power to be with one who is alone. Those who weep are willing to be with one who is isolated. That is what the Gospel praises as blessed.
       Do you have that power? Do you have that ability? Fr. Joel Jason
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How is your heart? Is it moved by the pain of another? Do you move to console the isolated?
 
Soften my heart, O Lord. Cleanse my dry eyes with the gift of compassionate tears. Amen.

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