Grace to you!
We continue our reflections on the Sermon on the Mount. You remember I told you that Jesus’ method of teaching followed a pattern of parallelisms like the Rabbis, but the content of his message was different.
For instance, he introduces the views of the Rabbis by saying “you have heard that it was said . . .” and then he contrasts this with another parallel: “But I say to you.” You will see this pattern in many places in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter five.
For instance, Matthew 5:20-26 is a great teaching on how to deal with anger and cultivate the virtue of forgiveness, as well as restrain from the spirit of vengeance. I find this more evident in the disposition of meekness. Hence Jesus earlier said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The announcement does not in anyway exclude the meek from inheriting heaven also.
One may ask, who are the meek? What does it mean to be meek?
May I take us back to the Old Testament? One man was called the meek in the Old Testament. His name is Moses, hence we say as “Meek as Moses.”
Moses is regarded as the greatest leader in the Old Testament. He must have had exceptional leadership skills.
The scene where he was called Meek was when Miriam and Aaron his siblings complained harshly against him because of the Cushite woman whom he had married. They were also jealous that God was speaking to Moses alone and not to them (Numbers 12: 1-3).
Moses didn’t get upset about his brother and sister’s opposition. He controlled his temper, earning him the honor of being called the meek.
Meekness appears to me as a quality which shares a lot in common with humility, strength of character and self control or restraint against incendiary nudges. In other words, it’s synonymous to gentleness.
A gentle person is polite and also humble because he or she knows there are many things to learn. The person is docile and tolerant of others. The very opposite is arrogance or cockiness and irritable disposition. Other opposites of meekness are manipulative and controlling, as well as undisciplined mannerism.
Though many tend to think that gentleness or meekness is a sign of weakness and may deprive the meek of their rights, it appears to me the opposite is the case. The constant, aggressive approach to things makes people lose many friends and opportunities. It is strength of character to control that vengeful demon within. To do so is to be in-charge of our passions, to be a true hero.
The Lord says, it’s the meek who would inherit the earth. Those who are not gentle fight over everything; and in the end, they may get the bullet of hate. Such bullets don’t feel good, do they?
“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.