In the Beatitudes of today’s Gospel Our Lord encourages those suffering persecution for being witnesses to him, comparing their mission in adversity to that of the prophets. Even today Christians have a prophetic mission, described by the constitution Lumen Gentium (n. 35):
“Christ, the great Prophet, who proclaimed the Kingdom of His Father both by the testimony of His life and the power of His words, continually fulfills His prophetic office until the complete manifestation of glory. He does this not only through the hierarchy who teach in His name and with His authority, but also through the laity whom He made His witnesses and to whom He gave understanding of the faith and an attractiveness in speech so that the power of the Gospel might shine forth in their daily social and family life. They conduct themselves as children of the promise, and thus strong in faith and in hope they make the most of the present, and with patience await the glory that is to come. Let them not, then, hide this hope in the depths of their hearts, but even in the program of their secular life let them express it by a continual conversion and by wrestling ‘against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness.'”
Elijah in today’s First Reading prophesied a lack of rain and went into hiding at the Lord’s command with the promise of the Lord’s support. There are many Christian refugees in the world simply because they let the power of the Gospel “shine forth in their daily social and family life.” Let’s pray and work to aid our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters and also be bold in proclaiming the Gospel in our daily life.