Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(I Kings 17:1-6; Matthew 5:1-12)
Protesters are yelling in the street. The mayor has imposed a curfew to maintain order. Everyone feels disgusted with the police brutality of two weeks ago. But most people do not want to have the injustice compounded by riots, burning, and looting. How would Jesus have responded to such a situation? Today’s gospel offers some clues.
The passage relates the beatitudes which describe the saintly life. They promote patience and forbearance in face of persecution. However, they do not criticize the defense of human rights. Rather they indicate the need for Christians to suffer for what they believe to be just. They abhor violence and exhort peaceful ways to resolve problems of persecution.
We cannot expect that everyone will follow Jesus’ program for saintliness. Nevertheless, we have to follow him as are model and surest guide. He will not fail us but make us sources of blessing in our communities. We will also find our society improving, perhaps incrementally but surely. There may be steps backward at times, but generally we will feel the improvement.