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Rejoice and be glad
Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
Source: The Simple Way
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Francis tells us: “Jesus Christ, our Lord, whose footsteps we’re to follow, called his betrayer ‘friend’ and willingly handed himself over to his crucifiers. Our friends, then, are all those who unjustly inflict upon us tests and ordeals, shame and injury, sorrows and torments, martyrdom and death. They are the ones we should love most, for they are inflicting upon us eternal life.”

This is a hard saying. But we know it is true, difficult and even as impossible as it seems. The way we react to those who persecute and slander us says volumes about who we really are and what we say we believe. Francis is only spelling out for us what Jesus himself said on the Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:11–12).

—Adapted from The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of Saint Francis, by Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

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