Every Day Light
"' you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (v. 19)
For reading & meditation:
We continue meditating on the eighth and final Beatitude. One of the questions that has often puzzled people concerning this matter of suffering and persecution is this: Why is it that Christians, when they do good, are often persecuted, while non-Christians who do the same kind of good are adored? One commentator suggests the reason for this is that when non- Christians do good, other non-Christians find it easy to identify with them and say to themselves: "These people are just like me when I am at my best." The thinking that goes on below the threshold of a non-Christian's mind when he sees other non-Christians doing good is along the line of: "I am probably capable of the same thing myself if the opportunity came my way." The admiration that is then given is a way of paying a compliment to oneself. The Christian who does good has about him or her the atmosphere of another world, and because of this, the non-Christian observes, not just their act of good, but the different motivation that underlies the act. They sense that there is something different about this person, and because they cannot understand or explain the difference, they react with fear and the fear then turns to hostility. Psychologists have a name for this fear - xenophobia. It means fear of someone we do not know or understand. This is why the scribes and Pharisees hated our Lord so much. It wasn't because He was good; it was because He was different. This is the effect Jesus Christ always has upon the world. And to the extent that you reflect His spirit, to that extent you will experience the same reaction. "A Christian's reason for doing good is different"
O Father, I see that if I just try to do good, the world will applaud me, but if I try to become Christlike, it will hate me. Nevertheless I long to be Christlike. Help me, dear Father, for apart from Your grace, I know it is not possible. Amen.
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