Let God Comfort You

Do You Need God To Comfort You?


“Comfort.  Give comfort to my people”, says the Lord.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.”  On the Second Sunday of Advent, I want to talk a little about comfort, and how God desires to comfort us in our journey.

Life is a journey.  Any journey worth taking is going to involve its difficulties, its hurts, and involve wounds.

But the Lord desires to comfort us. How does He do that?

We hear in the First Reading that, like a shepherd, He feeds His flock.  In His arms He gathers the lambs, carrying them in His bosom and leading the ewes with care.  I have to tell you, it took every last ounce in me not to grab one of those sheep and bring them in here for the Homily.

Like a shepherd, He wants to gather you into His bosom and comfort you, and carry you with His care.

The first way that God comforts us is by taking us out of a difficult situation and bringing us to Him. He can do that. He can remove us from a difficult situation.

Sometimes in life we need to be taken out of difficult situations. Maybe it is a group of people you are friends with, and they are not a healthy group for you to be around.  Or maybe you are in an abusive relationship. Or maybe there is some other situation that would be good for you to be removed from.

The Lord wants to take you out of that and comfort you.

The second way that God comforts – if you go to the actual meaning of comfort – if you go to the etymology or the Latin meaning of comfort:  the two parts “com” and “fort”.  “Com” means “with” in Latin, and “fortis” is actually the Latin word, and it means “strengthen.”  Think of it like a fortress, “fortis” means strengthen. God can also comfort you by coming in strength. He can strengthen you in the situation.

If He is not going to take you out of the situation that you are in, He will comfort you in the situation that you are in. He will give you all the strength to face whatever you need to face to continue on in the journey. Whatever that may be, we have an inner strength that is beyond anything we can ever understand or realize.

In Baptism, you were Baptized into Jesus.  You were Baptized as Priest, Prophet, and King. In your Baptism, you have been given all the power in the Holy Spirit to deal with any situation that life can bring to you. That is the second way that God can comfort you.  He can come in His strength.   He can bring strength to you.

The third way, to go back to the shepherd or the sheep image, is that He can heal.  Another part of comfort, if you think of comfort care or palliative care, is to bring about some healing of pain.

Oftentimes, when sheep were injured or wounded, the shepherd would go up to them and actually bind their legs together and then put them over his head and carry them for a while on the journey until they heal. The journey does not stop. They continue journeying, but the shepherd actually carries them and heals them.

That is the third way that God can comfort us, by healing us, by binding up whatever has been broken, so we can get back into life as we normally should.  Ultimately, the deepest hurt, beyond anything emotionally, physically, or spiritually is sin. Sin is the deepest wound that we have. It is the deepest place in our hearts and our lives that needs healed.

Maybe during this season of Advent there is some sin in your life that needs to be healed, restored, and reconciled.

Advent is a wonderful season for reconciliation. It is a Penitential season. That is why we wear the violet vestments. It is a time for us to reconcile, to be healed by the Lord.

I invite you – if it has been more than a year since you have been to Confession, you are due.  If it has been years since you have been to Confession, and there is something in your heart that you need to experience healing for, I invite you to go to Confession.

Here at St. Gabriel’s Parish, we have our communal penance tomorrow at 7 p.m. We will have 10 or 12 priests here.  You will have all these priests to have the opportunity to go to, and to experience in a very real way, God’s healing.

As the priest lays hands on you and says “I absolve you of your sins,” Jesus, His very self, will bind you and bring you healing, and get you back into the journey. The season of Advent is a journey, and life is a journey, as we await The Second Coming.

Along the way we do get hurt.  Along the way, we do experience pain.  Along the way, we do experience suffering.  And God wants to comfort you.  He does so in those very real ways.

First of all, if He needs to, He will take you out of the situation, and hold you to Himself.

Secondly, you might have to stay in the situation, and He is going to give you the strength that you need.

And thirdly, ultimately, He wants to heal you of any sin, so that you may ultimately experience His comfort, that we may experience His healing as we prepare for Christmas.

About the Author Fr. Michael Denk

Fr. Michael was ordained into priesthood in the Diocese of Cleveland on May 12, 2007. He is dedicated to helping others encounter Christ through the celebration of the Eucharist, preaching, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, spiritual direction, and prayer.

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I'm Father Michael J. Denk, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. I am a contributor of content to The Prodigal Father Productions, Inc., a non-profit corporation functioning in accord with the traditions and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The corporation and I are separate, it doesn't speak for me, the parish, or on behalf of the Diocese of Cleveland, and I do not speak for it.