“Nobody likes being sad.” I don’t know where I heard that, but I don’t think it’s true. We all know somebody who’s into being sad. And it’s usually all about them.
But the right kind of sad tells me something’s wrong. Like when it finally dawns on me that I really messed up. I should feel sad about it. That means I get it. I know what I’ve done and I know I need to do something about it.
That’s what the first reading (Nehemiah) is all about. It finally dawns on the people that they really messed up. They feel sad about it. That means they get it. They know what they’ve done and they need to do something about it.
And the rest of the first reading (and the Gospel)? It shows us what God does when we finally do get it.
And that God has zero interest in beating us up. Or in pity parties.