Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who choose to receive violence but not to give it,
for the future is born out of such choices.
There are people in this world who face persecution because they have refused to compromise on what they know to be right. Last year we had an event here at Bloomsbury with Moazzam Begg, who spoke about his time as a detainee in Guantanamo bay, eventually released without charge. The temptation to turn an experience of persecution into a quest for vengeance is ever before those who have been wronged, but those who make the choice to receive but not to give out find themselves walking the path of the cross, and setting a new direction for those who follow.
God of peace, we pray for all those who are done-upon and done-unto. We pray for the persecuted, and we consciously turn our mind’s gaze to their suffering, because they should not be left unnoticed. We think of those who have taken positive choices when faced with horrors at the hands of others. We think of Sami and Ben, the Palestinian and Israeli former enemies who now work side by side for peace. We pray for all who set aside the desire for revenge in the interest of building your kingdom of peace. Amen.