In the Face of Persecution…
What should we do when people judge, discriminate, and persecute us for our beliefs?
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” -Romans 12:14, RSV
Easier said than done, right? I know. It can be a real challenge to show love to someone who is showing us hate in return. There are few things that we are called to do as Christians that are more difficult.
The first thing to acknowledge is that we are persecuted in the first place. Don’t think that we still face persecution in today’s society? In my opinion, as Catholics, we are quickly becoming a social pariah, and discrimination against Catholics is one of the last acceptable forms of bigotry in our country.
When other groups stand up for their views, the country rallies behind them and their rights. When Catholics stand up for their rights, we are called oppressive and said to be forcing our views upon them. A quick study of the HHS Mandate shows that.. Still, in comparisons to what many of our Catholic brothers and sisters around the world face, the level of persecution we face is much, much less.
Regardless of how much or how little we may be persecuted, our response should be the same – love. Instead of cursing those who persecute us, we must ask God to bless them. Return your love for their hate; return peace for their hostility.
Almost 2000 years ago, Christ was persecuted and sent to the cross. Now, He asks us to pick up our cross and bear the prosecution for our faith, just as Peter and the other Apostles did so long ago. Will you pick up your cross in the face of persecution?