Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Laughter
( Repentance )
a. Gives one hope that in the midst of one’s difficulties, one eventually finds consolation; we do not have to become bitter. Patient suffering and endurance of trials do have their reward.
b. ‘Mourning’ here can also mean true sorrow for sin. Christ invites those who truly feel contrition and come to the foot of the cross, leaving their burdens there.
Judaism recognized that the greatest sin of humanity is its preoccupation with self. We turn in on ourselves, leaving no room in our lives for God or anyone else. But when the realization of our need for God comes, we begin to change. Conversion, metanoia happens, and we repent of our selfishness. To repent is to "move toward God." Seen as a death experience - "dying to self" - this metanoia was called "mourning" by the rabbis of Jesus' time. Thus those who mourned were those who had repented of their former lives of self-sufficiency and were moving toward God. Such repentance is necessarily subsequent to peoples' realization of their need for God.