Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Entering back into Ordinary Time, we are greeted with one of the most famous Old Testament prophets, Elijah. [The “death” of Elijah includes a fiery chariot (II Kings 2:1-12) or the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9) includes Jesus talking with Elijah and Moses]. Elijah is introduced as a man dependent on God right from the beginning as noted through God directly providing his meals through the ravens. The Psalm reechoes this theme of guardianship because “our help is from the Lord” (Psalm 121:2), who guards us from all evil and guards our lives.
Matthew presents us with the nine “Blessed are the…” which is Jesus’ first major public preaching in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12). These new “commandments” describe a path to true happiness by promoting justice and compassion and form concrete ways to perform actions of love for others. Yet, the last line foreshadows what will happen to those who follow these guidelines, for “they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Yet, it continues, there is hope for one’s reward will be great in heaven (5:12) for those who persevere. As Christians, we are not called to be people of this world, but rather believers looking forward to life in the heavenly courts.