In today’s reading from Sirach we hear brief summaries of two great prophets. I think of Elijah as a sledgehammer who has confrontations with King Ahab, the prophets of Baal, and Jezebel. Elisha, on the other hand, had more of a velvet touch and consistently comforts those who are in need.

In almost ten years of being a Jesuit, I have learned the importance of needing to confront as well as the need to comfort. As Christians it is our responsibility to confront the injustices in our world but also to confront the ones that we may perpetrate. We are also called to comfort those who are hurting, some of whom may lash out and try to hurt us. However, we do all these things not because of a good feeling or acknowledgement, but because that is what a relationship with God calls us to do.

In what ways can I confront the injustices that happen in my day? Whom can I comfort and support this week?

—Brother Pat Douglas, S.J. lives and works at Creighton University, Omaha. He is also vocation promoter for the Wisconsin Province Jesuits.