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 an excellent teaching on how to deal with anger. The Lord contrasts it with how to 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 the Lord Jesus earlier said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." The announcement does not, in any way, 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 (see Numbers 12:3). Hence, we say, "as meek as Moses."
Many agree with Moses' reputation as the greatest leader in the Old Testament. He had exceptional leadership skills. From my studies in leadership, I can validly defend this claim.
However, 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 (see Num 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, the strength of character and self-control or restraint against incendiary nudges. In other words, it's synonymous with 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 person has incredible supportive communication, especially listening skills. The very opposite is arrogance or cockiness and irritable disposition. I will also include being manipulative and controlling and letting our emotions go wild.
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 that the opposite is the case. The constant, aggressive approach to things makes people lose many friends and opportunities. It is a strength of character to control that vengeful demon within. To do so is to be in charge of our passions. It is to be a true hero of oneself. Who is a stronger personality if not the one who can put his or her emotions in check?
The Lord says that the meek would inherit the earth. Those who are not gentle fight over everything. They waste their blows. The energy that could be used for better causes for the good of family, friends, and community is used for wasteful and frustrating bids. They may get the bullet of hate in the end, having invested so much in bitter fights. 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
[Friday, Week 10: 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-16; Matthew 5:27-32]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.