Today's verse: Matthew 5:11 – "God blesses you when you are mocked, persecuted, and lied about because you are my followers." (NLT – Tindale) Catholic Reference Edition
In today's verse, Jesus told a large number of his followers, who gathered on the Mount of Beatitudes the above words. I wonder if he had being praying about them the night before when he went up on the mountain? Sometimes when I pray about things they stir me up and I cannot go back to sleep. The type of emotion attached to the three words he mentions in (Mt 5:11), would surely keep me awake. I have had many a nightmare about mocking, persecution, and lying in my life.
Why were the sins of (Mt 5:11) weighing on Jesus's mind? We will never know, nobody is alive now that was there at the time. But, on his mind they were, and it was important enough for Matthew (Levi) to put it in the writings that were intended for the Jewish population of Israel, the book of Matthew. Can any of you remember being mocked in the playground when you were younger? I can, and it was not pretty! I came to despise going out to play when I knew the "mockers" would be up to this tricks. I was never subjected to persecution that I know of and I didn't have to be punished for it even if I didn't recognize whatever small indignities I may have experienced.
But, when it comes to suffering the indignity of lies to about me, I am again in the dark. I know that there were many times that I was butt of many slanders and lies, but again I never faced them face-to-face. How bad can it feel to be called a liar, to your face or behind your back, when you are defending our Lord? It makes me get all out of sorts. Naturally, your age will determine. how badly you may feel when you are faced with such prevarications. I personally always take such confrontations to heart, and I suffer them poorly.
Finally, when we read (Mt 5:11) several times the idea takes root. If we live our lives like Jesus commands us to, there is a great reward for obedience in heaven. Today, All Saints Day, we celebrate our brothers and sisters who proceeded us, and we pray to them to intercede for us as we prepare our minds and our souls in the here and now for the heaven to come.