Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted

During recent rioting “God does not exist!” was scribed in spray paint on the great brass doors Of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Basilica in downtown Denver Colorado.  Try to imagine that!   The spray painting vandal must not have known that he was taking up the work of the Ku Klux Klan.  The world tends to forget the Klan has always persecuted the Catholic Church and immigrants, as well as African-Americans.  When the Catholic immigrants wanted to build the Cathedral, they did so amid gun fire and death threats from the Ku Klux Klan.   The Basilica is a monument to faith in context of a political environment incredibly hostile to Faith.  The violence of the Ku Klux Klan served to intensify God’s glory.

Recently anarchists who claim to represent African-American interests have called for the burning of Catholic churches; all who do so continue a persecution of the church which began when Jesus instituted the Church; These groups may add their name to a long list of haters including Nazis, Marxists, and Freemasons.  

Yet Jesus said  “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.”   True religion never allows us to hate any person.  The most deadly threat is hatred itself.  Not the hatred that comes from outside the Church, but the deadly sin that we battle within.  This is a glorious battle.

The spirit of the antichrist teaches “If you do not hate who I hate, I will hate you.” and “You are obliged to be violent toward the enemy.” 

But Jesus says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”, “… to you who hear I say, love your enemies do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.“ 

Jesus has freed us for love.

Be merciful.

Deacon Gary Miller

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