Malankara World

Today with Jesus

Sometimes Silence is more Comforting than Words

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada

Today's Bible Verse

“No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.” (Job 2:13)

Discussion

Silence is more eloquent for comforting and consoling the sufferers at the time of their sorrows and tears.

Physical presence with love and prayers is in want at the time of difficulties. When Job was in excruciating pain and sorrows, his friends got together and travelled from their homes to comfort and console Job. Our job, and our pre-occupations are not an excuse for letting others suffer their pains alone. When someone is in need, go to that person, but be sensitive to that person about how much comfort he or she needs. According to Jewish tradition, people who come to comfort someone in mourning should not speak until the mourner speaks. Often the best response to another person’s suffering is silence. Job’s friends realized that his pain was too deep to be healed with mere words, so they said nothing. Often we feel we must say something spiritual and insightful to a hurting friend. Perhaps what he or she needs most is just our presence and prayers, showing that we care. Pat answers and trite quotations say much less than emphatic silence and loving companionship.

Jemeela and John were in deep sorrow at the tragic death of their blue- eyed eldest son, Joe at the age of 24, when he was studying for MS in the US. Words of consolation by their relatives, friends and colleagues could not stop their uncontrollable sobbing. The priest of their parish, Fr. Mathew did not talk any words of comfort to them, instead, he was present in the house as one among them till every one left after the burial. For the next 40 days, he was in the house for evening prayers without any preaching or advice except for answers to their queries. 10 years have passed now but Jemeela and John still cherish more than anyone the blessed presence of the loving priest Fr. Mathew with his silence.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4). Wherever there is sorrow, we should be there with love and prayers.

Prayer

Jesus, we pray for all the parents who are in tears for the death or sickness of their children. Comfort them and console them with your presence. Let us have the hearts and minds to be with them in their pain and sorrows. Let us be sensitive to the pain of others and to know what to do in that kind of situation. We pray for all the priests and laymen like Fr . Mathew in the field of your healing ministry. All we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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