Scripture Reading: Matthew: 5:5
In today’s Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us the benefit of meekness. The meek are those who are humble and submissive before God. They find their refuge in Him and commit their ways entirely to Him. They are more concerned about God’s work and God’s people than about what might happen to them personally (cf Psa. 37:11). The meek, rather than the aggressive, ultimately inherit the earth. Two regular associations in the Bible and in ancient Christian exhortation, help us to grasp the “full meaning” of meekness: one is the linking of meekness and humility and the other is the linking of meekness and patience. The one highlights the interior dispositions from which meekness flows;, the other the attitudes that meekness causes us to have toward our neighbour: sweetness, kindness, etc.
If the beatitudes are a self-portrait of Christ, the first thing to do in commenting on them is to see how they were lived by Him. The Gospel, from beginning to end, is a demonstration of the meekness of Christ in its dual aspect of humility and patience. Jesus himself, we pointed out, proposes Himself as the model of meekness. His entrance into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey is seen as an example of a “meek” king who refuses all ideas of violence and war (cf. Matthew 21:4). THE MEEK are those who are gentle, humble, and unassuming, simple in faith and patient in the face of every affront; they imitate the meekness of Jesus. The maximum proof of Christ’s meekness is in his passion. There is no wrath, there are no threats. “When He was insulted He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He did not threaten.” (1 Peter 2:23).
With Jesus, meekness and nonviolence are the true signs of greatness. The martyr, St. Ignatius of Antioch suggested to the Christians of his time: “Faced with their rage, be meek; faced with their arrogance, be humble.” The promise linked to the beatitude of the meek — “they will inherit the land” — is realized on different levels: there is Promised Land of eternal life, but there is also the land which is the hearts of men. St. Francis de Sales often said: “Be as sweet as you can and remember that more flies are captured by a drop of honey than with a barrel of vinegar.”
Let us end this devotional by reciting together with confidence the beautiful invocation of the litany of the Sacred Heart: “Jesus meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like Yours”
Acts 3:11-26; Ps 8:2ab.5.6-7a.7b-9 (R.2ab); Accl Ps 118:24; Gosp Lk 24:35-48 OCTAVE OF EASTER
1. Father, may I be sick of my arrogance. May I be among the meekest people on the face of the earth (see Nm 12:3). Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Help us not to be ruthless with one another, and to eliminate the discord and violence that exists in the world around us. AMEN.
Exercise: Endeavour to always act calmly and courageously.
Meditation: Psalms 37:11.