Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12 NABRE
This is the last of the beatitudes from Matthew’s sharing in the gospel. The beatitudes are Jesus’ teaching to a crowd, His formula for our best life. It is a beatitude about persecution, this is a teaching that Jesus emphasizes the most. It is also a promise of glory for those who want to follow Him to the bitter end. We should never seek tears, suffering, or affliction for their own sake but when they come from God we must accept them with gladness and joy. Those who adore Jesus see persecution in all its forms as a means to show a surplus of love to God. We can always expect persecution when we imitate Jesus because He is a challenge to the world. When we only receive praise, the world is thinking we are acting perfectly. Jesus has a warning for us in this case; “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.” (Luke 6:26.) This is evidence that we have the spirit of the world and not the Spirit of Christ.
When we are attacked and we put up with it in gentleness and serenity, keeping forgiveness in our hearts, a complete and loving forgiveness that leads us to pray for our persecutors and really love them, then we are blessed. Jesus promises a great reward in heaven, we must also notice the peace we receive acting from love will be a great reward today.
Have you been persecuted? How do you respond to persecution?When we are attacked and we put up with it in gentleness and serenity, keeping forgiveness in our hearts, a complete and loving forgiveness that leads us to pray for our persecutors and really love them, then we are blessed. Click To Tweet
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