Bury the Dead

A Moment for Mercy - Bury the Dead

This is the last of the corporal works of mercy, the only one not found in Jesus' list at his speech about the Last Judgement in chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. But it was added later on, for it is a deed highly praised in the Bible, particularly in the book of Tobit.

It is not within our reach to perform this act of mercy, though as we see every day in the news this is not so all over the world. We were all humbled and impressed by the courage of the people who were ready to bury the victims of Ebola or those drowned while crossing the Mediterranean.

Yet it is certainly a real work of mercy to console those who have lost a loved one, to attend a neighbour's or a friend's funeral. Those who have been through the unique experience of bereavement know how they yearn for any form of real support and friendship during the long months of grieving for a loved one who has passed away.

Death is always difficult and destabilising, and once the friends and neighbours have left and the excitement of the funeral is over, we have to face the harsh reality of life without our loved one. We still need support. Very often we might not know what we really want, and we find ourselves easily upset by words of advice, however well-meaning.

Helping those left behind to bury their dead can be a very concrete work of mercy, a work of patient tactful love, which seeks how best to express itself – a simple sms, a call, a walk, a meal...

It requires a heart that knows how to give priority to the other's suffering, one that knows that presence is the best gift of all.

By Paul Pace, SJ 

Today we bring you 'A soothing, comforting song about companionship inspired by the beautiful videogame: Journey'.

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