Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
While some of us are indifferent to others’ concerns, many of us want to get on with those around us. So whether it is by verbal and/or body language, we gauge others’ response to us. We know the importance of community and we may make adjustments to our behaviour. Being hated, excluded, reviled and defamed don’t ’sit well’ with us. But this passage is about being true to our faith. Being true to our faith can, painfully, set us apart. Such is the price of integrity.
God’s covenant with humanity, from both the Christian and Hebrew scriptures, could be summarised as to honour God (not money nor things) and care for those in need. To this day humanity continues to struggle with the profound simplicity of this covenant. Our task is to guide the young people in our care to focus on caring for those around them – harnassing the drive for justice placed in each of us by our loving God – without caring ‘what others might think’.
Have a great week!