Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness…

 

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness ” ( Matthew 5:10)

So, before we dig in too deep, you need to understand what it is that righteousness means in Matthew’s Gospel. In this case, it means you are acting in accordance with Gods law, or in his will. It means that in your heart, your making efforts to conform your own will, to that of the Heavenly Father, and then, you are working to form your daily actions, your choices, your actions to work to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Well, this is a good thing, BUT, it does not stop there. Jesus, gave us the model of life and also gave us not only in word but in action the way that we are to handle the persecution we encounter in our daily lives.

We saw how it was that Jesus, true God and true man, suffered through His humanity. He was born into poverty. He was born a refugee. He experiences all of the challenges, and issues that man had to offer. He tried to live a virtuous life, and still He suffered His humanity.

We can see through the Gospels, how it is that He showed love, how He gave everything He had to give. You can read the stories of His compassion for others. How it is He tried to teach everyone.

If a normal human were born today, and tried to live a moral life, they would be considered a good person and loved by those who know them well enough.

Jesus, showed us not only how to live but how to suffer for the sake of righteousness. Jesus was insulted, and scorned by the society He lived in. He did not return their insults… their hatred,

Jesus was spat upon, and beaten. He did not return their actions with pain He could have inflicted.

Jesus stripped , beaten, imprisoned, and treated like a criminal, crucified, and buried in a grave not made for Him. In a human existence even His earthly death and burial was a suffering of extremes.

We are challenged , as Jesus was challenged. Why ? Because we live with other people. We carry the stain of original sin, we suffer from our own human failings. Guess what ? They do too.

My mother used to say ” Life is a matter of perspectives…”. She was quite correct in our dealings with others. What you believe to be “right” or “correct,” might not be what your brother or sister thinks is right or correct. Their priorities are not yours and yours are not theirs. In fact what you see or read or hear may mean one thing to you, but something totally different to a younger, or older person.

Think about how you hear the Word, when scripture is read , and how it means one thing now, but a few years later, something totally different gets revealed to you. Life has a way of teaching us different things at different stages, and in different circumstances that we encounter.

We may suffer for the understandings of others, for their perspectives. The important thing is that we do not inflict suffering on others, who’s understanding is different than our own. Instead, Jesus gives us a plan of action. Jesus taught…. we should teach. Jesus bore the sufferings of others … we should carry that burden. We should not be afraid of suffering for righteousness because when we do, and we do so in the loving example of Jesus, then this indeed is a grace from God.

We are human, and we fail. They are human, and they fail. I am human, and I fail.

For those who try to live a good and moral life, who try to live a holy life in conformity with God’s will, it becomes painfully evident of where we fail. Maybe you loose your temper, or a curse slips, or you find some place in your heart that harbors a grudge, or hatred, or malice.

The fact that you recognize that sin for what it is. The fact that you see that there is a place for you to work on your soul, your humanity, is not only cause for reconciliation, but a sign that you can thank God for the fact that your conscience is formed well enough to recognize your own failings, and a desire to change, and the first step on the road to bearing sufferings for the sake of righteousness.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

 

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6 Responses to “Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness…”

  1. Allison Hinde Says:

    I am curious about something. Is this also persecuted if you try to help others through a soup kitchen or the church and others bad mouth you there? When you think of persecuted , many jsut think if it is physical harm not mental. Thanks

    • brbearsfo Says:

      Thank you Allison for your comment ! In answer to your question, strictly in the context of the beatitudes, I suppose it would depend on why your on the receiving end of the comment.
      For instance, If someone were to speak ill of you just for trying to serve others, then, yes, you could be considered to be persecuted. If, however, in the service you are attempting to provide, you are also ill tempered, or in some other way are not being Christ to others, then possibly, not as much. There used to be a story called ” Who kicked the cat”… the moral of that story was that we never know what is going on in another persons life. It is easy to judge, the only thing you can do is to love them anyway ! Peace !

  2. jerry ouellette Says:

    Thank you for a refresher course in following Christ.

  3. Allison Hinde Says:

    Thanks. Well there is one who dies not like me and feels I should not be there. I have seen people saying things to workers that should not have been said as well as some members who do not like others. I also know that people do this because they are ashamed to be there and it is taken out on those who help them

    • brbearsfo Says:

      Allison, the best advise I can give is a little advise from St. Paul. ” Let your love for one another be intense, for love covers a multitiude of sins.” and if its not a sin for a Franciscan to share an example of a Carmelite, then I have found in my own experiences, that the best way to eventually turn the tide of this sort of behavior is to be the servant of all… serve those who say these things,or do these things, for in your service you provide the example of Christ to others. Eventually they will not be able to help seeing Christ, and in doing so, will cause them to examine their consciences. This part is not for us to judge, it is only to serve the Christ that is in them, that they do not see, or do not yet know.

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