Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12, NKJV)
Irony usually pops out unexpectedly in conversations or in the interruptions of seemingly unconnected events becoming somehow twisted and tied together in a strange connectedness. The irony that we see or find in moment, a phrase or even in an event usually comes out after the event through reflective pondering, although we can at times sense the irony in something just before us as well.
We tend to think of the blessings in our lives as some kind of due reward and recompense for our doing the right thing and we expect those blessings to make life easier and more joyous in the time and moments surrounding the granting of each particular blessing. We thus speak of being blessed with children, contentment in the home or in our marriage and having the blessings of not lacking things or finances. These are blessings and they come to us as both, both gifts of grace and the result of our working endeavors and dedication.
In the “Beatitudes,” our Lord foretells of blessings coming our way that will be both ironic in how they feel and how they will be delivered. These blessings will come in our persecution, these blessings will come as evil and lies are being heaped upon us and these blessings will be great. These ironic blessings will come to us, simply because we are following our Lord and living as He wants us to live. The ironic blessings are not in the events and the pain but in the relationship we have with the Lord both here on this earth and in the life to come. Enduring these uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous situations will not be smooth, uneventful or easy but we will be blessed in and through them. Our Lord delivers on His promises and He delivers His blessings freely and with an abundance of grace for every situation even if they look and feel very ironic. The blessing and joy of the Lord, is never found in the irony or normalcy of the given situation but in the love and grace He will bring to us by His presence with us in the situation.
Suggested Reading … Matthew 5