Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we conclude our catechesis on the Beatitudes with the final Beatitude: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10). All the attitudes contained in the Beatitudes, when lived for Christ, can lead to oppression by the world; yet ultimately this persecution is a cause of joy in heaven. The way of the Beatitudes is an Easter path, leading us from selfishness to a life guided by the Spirit. We see this in the saints who show that the experience of persecution can set the Christian free from worldly compromise. Tragically, today many of our brothers and sisters still face persecution, and we express our closeness to them. May we too always remain “salt of the earth”, lest by losing the “taste” of the Gospel we lead others to disdain it. By God’s grace, whatever trials we do face can draw us to become more like Christ, who leads us to new life. In this manner, following the humble way of the Beatitudes, we will come to experience the kingdom of heaven: our greatest joy and happiness.
I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you!