“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation (πάσης παρακλήσεως), who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, experienced in patient endurance (ἐνεργουμένης ἐν ὑπομονῇ) of the same sufferings that we are also suffering.” (2 Cor 1: 3-6)
The “God of all consolation” connects all of us, with Him and with one another, through “com-passion,” through the shared experience of the Cross. Communion with Christ, the primary Cross-Carrier, in the grace or “consolation” of His Spirit, also brings us communion with one another, with other cross-carriers, through compassion.
Let me embrace this truth with all my heart this morning, because it is healing for the resentments I’ve been schlepping around, against fellow cross-carriers. If I’ve been wronged by others in some way, and if forgiveness has continued to elude me, let me try approaching it Christ’s way, through com-passion. The “others” are also on a journey, a cross-carrying journey, with burdens and setbacks and challenges, about which I probably don’t even know. Lord, send us all consolation and healing today, by the power of Your life-giving, liberating Cross. Amen!