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23rd June: Beatitudes (10) -- Persecution for Christ's Sake

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5

Few attacks on evil will go unchallenged. If we align ourselves with Jesus in our behaviour we shall get insults, persecutions and lies thrown at us. So what do you do? Cringe? Actually you rejoice and give out positive vibes! People who live the moral and spiritual behaviour patterns set by the Master inevitably challenge evil -- in society and in people around them.

As doctors who walk this path is there some unique response we are asked to make to evil? Surely, is it not to heal the disease of pride etc., and help change the person behind the evil? If so -- and it is the path Jesus took -- it is a dangerous route. At times political action or force may be justified, but the unique challenge of the gospel -- the essence of the good news -- is that human nature can be changed, not by force but by the forgiveness, healing and education of the Holy Spirit. And the reward? Just be glad and rejoice for you are in a good historical tradition. 'Your reward is in heaven'.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are willing to suffer
for my sake. Help me to be willing to suffer for your sake.

Further reading: Jn 15:18-21, 16:1-4.


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