“The prophets who were before you”
Not only are they unpopular with people more concerned about selfish pleasure than about right and wrong, the Church and its teachings are also unpopular with a variety of special interest groups – inside and outside government.
But Truth is Truth.
Thus says the Lord in today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12):
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.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
We are called to be the prophets of our own day.
It isn’t easy.
Yet always we must be true prophets with true compassion, following in the example of Saint Paul in today’s first reading (2 Corinthians 1:1-7):
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion
and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves
are encouraged by God.
For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure
the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.