God Will Wipe Away Our Tears
The final line from our second reading today says: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” The image of God wiping away tears of His children can bring to mind the times parents or teachers bent down to console us and wipe away the tears from our eyes when we were children. We can remember times when someone was there with a tissue and some consoling words. Perhaps it was a time a favorite pet died, or we failed an exam, or we were not included in some group activity and felt left out.
As we grow up, we begin to cry more in secret, thinking that we should outgrow crying and supposing that no one really cares anyway. With it we may have lost the beautiful image of our God as a tear-wiper, the One who cares, who suffers with us, who wants to console us if we simply allow it. This image of God as tear-wiper might replace and image of God as a judge, ruler and condemner. To the God of consolation I can turn with my adult pains, disappointments and hurts, knowing that He is there with a caressing hand to share my burden and lead my gently to a place of life-giving renewal.
Compassion (to suffer with) begins not with the will to love but with the recognition that one is loved. It is not an act but an attitude, a way of being in relationship, accepting the other in his or her weakness and responding to the needs of the other with mercy. We are loved because we are God’s children. God wipes our tears, has compassion on us and extends mercy because we are His. May we find comfort in the God who will wipe away our tears, and my each of us extend His merciful love and compassion to others. Peace.
P.S. I recall many times when my mother consoled me when I was tearful. I also remember many times when she expressed pride at my accomplishments. Moms are special. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers here at St. Rita Church.