Yesterday at mass, we read from the beatitudes, the last part of which reads:
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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.
Today’s first reading contains the end of the “role call of faith” in Hebrews 11. A section from the reading is as follows:
Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance,
in order to obtain a better resurrection.
Others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword’s point;
they went about in skins of sheep or goats,
needy, afflicted, tormented.
The world was not worthy of them.
They wandered about in deserts and on mountains,
in caves and in crevices in the earth.
The life of faith is not always an easy one, though many of us may never experience the kind of suffering described here in Hebrews 11. Yet in the midst of persecution or suffering we are told that we are blessed. And, perhaps that can be a comfort to some today.