On the one hand the final beatitude comes as sort of a shock. How can someone who acknowledges their dependence upon God, mourns over sin, submits their will to Him, lives a godly life, walks through life transparently with integrity, extends mercy to others, and works to make peace between people have to contemplate persecution?
On the other hand, knowing human nature, it really is not too difficult to understand. After all, Jesus lived the life of the beatitudes perfectly….
As Jesus told His disciples: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).
Why? “…for they do not know the one who sent me,” Jesus said (vs. 21).
And so, the last beatitude ends with the same blessing with which they began: “…theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In fact, Jesus underlines that those who are persecuted for their faith are in good company (see Matthew 5:11-12).