The tears of a mother’s pain become seeds of hope and life, said Pope Francis as he spoke about the inconsolable pain of a losing a child.
The Pope reflected on the Old Testament figure of Rachel, wife of Jacob, who mourned for her exiled children. In his 4 January general audience held at St. Peter Square, the Pope focused on God’s response to her mourning.
Referring to the text written by Jeremiah he said, “God, with his sensitivity and his love, responds to Rachel’s tears with true words.”
The pain of Rachel’s loss reflects the loss all mothers feel, “holding within her the pain of all the mothers of the world…and the tears of every human being who suffers irreparable loss,” the Pope said.
Francis also described Rachel’s refusal for comfort or consolation as a “pain proportionate to love.”
“There are many Mothers who do not accept the loss of a child, who are inconsolable before a death that is impossible to accept.”
The Pope then used the example of Rachel to illustrate how we should respond to those who were grieving.
“In order to dry the tears from the faces of those who are suffering, it is necessary to join our tears with theirs,” he shared. “Only in this way can our words be really capable of giving a little hope.”
Admitting that even he did not have the answers to why such tragedies occur, the Pope could only offer this simple piece of advice, “Look at the Crucifix: God gave us his Son, he suffered and perhaps you will find an answer there.”
Pope Francis continued by mentioning the text in reference to the massacre of the Holy Innocents and explained that it places us “before the tragedy of the killing of defenceless human beings.”
He reflected that when Jesus died on the cross, death was conquered. “Mary’s tears too, like those of Rachel, generated hope and new life,” the Pope concluded.
Coincidentally, the ACF just welcomed into our family of partners Pieta, an apostolate formed to support those who have suffered the loss of a child. Through prayer and fellowship, Pieta hopes to bring peace and comfort to grieving parents on their journey of faith. Find out more about Pieta here.