“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10
What does it mean to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness?
In Matthew 5:10 the blessing of the kingdom of heaven is promised for those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, not to those who are persecuted because of their sin or lack of thoughtfulness. We must be sure we speak the truth in love and not in a wrong way that will bring negative attention to ourselves or those who share our beliefs.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15
When the persecuted are called by Jesus, we have an obligation to help bring about blessing, for following Jesus makes us agents of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Questions for reflection
Read Romans 12:14 and 12:17-21. From these verses, make a list of the ways you can respond to persecution and slander.
According to Hebrews 13:3, what should we be doing for the persecuted church?
How can we live out the Eighth Beatitude
- Hold firm in the ways of Christ even though you may receive ridicule or mistreatment.
- Pray for those living out their faith in countries where Christians are persecuted or martyred.
O God of all the nations, the One God who is and was and always will be, in your providence you willed that your Church be united to the suffering of your Son. Look with mercy on your servants who are persecuted for their faith in you. Grant them perseverance and courage to be worthy imitators of Christ. Bring your wisdom upon leaders of nations to work for peace among all peoples. May your Spirit open conversion for those who contradict your will, that we may live in harmony. Give us the grace to be united in truth and freedom, and to always seek your will in our lives. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.