Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousnessí sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Popularity

(Persevering)

This final Beatitude gives credibility to the others. It is the willingness to pay the costs of discipleship. As humans, we desire to be accepted, but the costs of discipleship may be our willingness to forego this need. If we are not willing to be rejected and ridiculed in our discipleship, all of the other Beatitudes are invalidated. Jesus told us as much when he said: "If any want to become my followers, let then deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23).