The other day I was remembering my grandfather Antonio, who left us just over two years ago. I remember him very often, and I miss him a lot. I have noticed that frequently I talk about him in my conversations, because he shared with me great life teachings. I thank God for being with him so many times, for the good memories, and I only hope I can have the opportunity and joy to see him again in eternity.
Grandpa Antonio liked to recite a poem written by a Mexican author named Juan de Dios Peza, more than a hundred years ago, which is called “Laughing Crying” (or something like that). The poem tells the story of Garrick, a very famous comedian from England who, despite having the ability to make everyone laugh, could not cure the immense sadness in his soul.
One day —the poem says— desperate and unable to find a solution, Garrick went to see a doctor, (although the doctor did not know he was Garrick)… and this doctor told him that the only way to overcome depression and be healed was by seeing the most famous of comedians of England. Do you know who? Garrick!
Look at what the poem tells:
– It leaves me – added the doctor – perplexed
your illness and I must not scare you;
Take today this advice as a prescription
only watching Garrick you can be cured.
-Yes, Garrick… The most indolent
and austere society anxiously seeks him;
everyone who sees him, dies of laughter;
he has an amazing artistic grace.
– And me? Will he make me laugh?
-Ah, yes, I swear it;
he and no one but him; but… what disturbs you?
-So – said the patient – I won’t be cured;
I am Garrick! Change my prescription.
How many people we see around, with big smiles on their faces, and with so much crying in their hearts. A couple of years ago we learned of the death of actor Robin Williams, one of the most famous comedians of our time, who decided to take his own life due to his great depression. Who could imagine it? Even the happiest of actors, even the richest, or the most handsome of them, can be the victim of these great enemies of today’s men and women: depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts.
Today, millions of people suffer from depression worldwide. Every day thousands of people decide to commit suicide because they find no other solution to their bitterness.
Every week, people come to our offices, seeking help. It is very sad! People are distressed in their sorrows, drowned in their depressions, crying inside, and not knowing what to do with their pain.
I’ve been there. Depression is a dark hole that I was able to overcome with the help of God, my wife, and my family. And I know that many of you have been – or are now – there too.
That is why the message of Jesus in today’s gospel is so important to us today and every day: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
The Lord knows our sadness, our bitterness, and the darkness we experience when we are depressed. He -like anyone else- can see the smile on our face, but He can see something others don’t: the hidden sadness of your heart.
Psalm 34 says: 17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
Today, I started talking about my grandfather who is now gone, and I hope to see him again. And I know, I’m sure of it, that you also have loved people that you would like to see one day again: parents, siblings, husbands, and children.
Nothing compares to the pain one feels when losing a loved one. It is perhaps one of the deepest sufferings, and at the same time one of the most common because we have all lost someone.
Today is All Saints Sunday… today we remember our family and friends who have already left… it is also necessary to talk about life and death, and the grief that death causes in our hearts, the bitterness it causes in our lives, when someone we love very much leaves us. When we lost someone… either because they died, or because they are not around anymore.
The first thing we have to know is that grief is different for each person. When someone dies in the family, there are people who recover faster than other people. There are people who cry more, and people who hardly cry. Psychologists – for example – talk about the stages of grief. That is, we all have to go through different stages until we overcome the pain that grief causes in our lives. Anger, denial, sadness, acceptance … in some people it can be a long process, in other people it is faster … but it all hurts.
I always remember John 11, when Jesus went to the funeral of his friend Lazarus … the Bible says that the Lord wept, that the Lord lamented with his friend’s family, that the Lord was not doing well … but what happened at the end of the story: Jesus raised Lazarus from death, and before doing so, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even if he is dead, will live. ”
I believe that Jesus will open the grave of our loved ones, and for them and us, He has prepared a future full of life and joy in eternity. Say amen with me if you believe that our Lord has power to raise us from the dead.
And this is the comfort we have in Christ this morning. He says that those who cry will laugh, that those who suffer will be comforted, that those who go through difficult situations will have the company and strength of God.
He paid the price for our sins on the cross, He defeated the cross in our place, and there He won our salvation and our direct ticket to eternal life.
So, on our last day, He will come and comfort us. Don’t forget the words of John in the book of Revelations, chapter 21: “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
So… Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. . !
The word “Blessed” in the original text means: “Happy.”
God wants you to be happy, the Lord wants you in spite of suffering not to lose faith or hope, because He is with you now, and has something bigger for you in your future. That is why believers learn to laugh crying.
I know that life hits us very hard sometimes … I know it hurts not to be with the person who is no longer by our side … I know that in life we have to deal with depressions, anxieties, sadnesses, bitterness …
However, today I want to invite you to put all those emotions, all this loneliness, all this suffering in the hands of Jesus. The same Jesus who died for you, the same Jesus who was resurrected for you and your loved ones, the same Jesus who promised to be by your side always … and who at this moment is telling you: I love you … I will save you … and one day you will see my glory with your loved ones … because I am – says the Lord – the resurrection, the way, the truth, and the life.
1st Peter, chapter 5, says: Cast all your anxiety on him (Jesus), because he cares for you.
Now I want you to tell the Lord: Christ, I cast all my anguish and sorrow on you, knowing that you will give me eternal life and salvation.
Do not be afraid, you are not alone, He is with you … and for you, and for all saints, He has promised eternal life, and salvation. Happy are those who cry, because they will laugh. To Him be all glory, honor and honor, forever and ever. Amen