This is the second so called beatitude or blessing. The first one spoke of the importance of recognising our spiritual poverty, our inability to be right with God by our own efforts. This one goes one step further and says that if we recognise our spiritual poverty we will be comforted. The broken hearted will have their hearts mended.
It is not directed to mourners at a funeral, even though we can be sure God will comfort them. This is about those who grieve over their shortcomings which keep them from God. They will be comforted by the offer of mercy and grace expressed in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus.
To receive the good news of Jesus we first have to realise our need of it. My broken heart can’t be mended unless I face its brokenness. My sin cannot be forgiven unless I am convicted of it. Staring the bad news of our imperfections is the only way we can embrace the good news of Jesus making us acceptable to God through his own perfection.
None of this means that God blesses misery, or that we ought to go around with long faces, or that we see ourselves as hopeless cases. We mourn our sin not so as to wallow in it, but to recognise the amazing grace of God expressed in Jesus. We grieve so as to be free of grief. We admit our lostness in order that we might be found.
Jesus tells us that comfort comes to the uncomfortable.