Of all the Beatitudes, the one calling for meekness might seem the most puzzling. Isn’t it the strong and most forceful who conquer lands and acquire power? Meekness is for the weak, the naïve, or those too timid or lazy to stand up for themselves, or so the message goes. With the start of another election cycle, we aren’t likely to hear any of the candidates extolling Jesus’ words about being “meek and humble of heart.”
What Does Meekness Mean In The Bible
A biblical perspective of the Catholic virtue of gentleness – a synonym for meekness - recognizes its accompanying wisdom and strength of character. For Paul, it meant stripping away the old self in order to take on new life in Christ (Colossians 3:9-11). Choosing to embrace humility, to put aside arrogance, and to be kind and open to others are not the actions of the weak and gutless. Each choice requires strength, courage, and endurance. Thus, the gentle-hearted inherit the earth not only as a reward for their loving nature, but also because they are the ones best suited for tending the landscape of the human heart.
And The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth
This is a high season for travel in my life. As I make my way back and forth across the country, I don’t have much time for tuning in the news and hearing the latest political diatribes. In church basements and parish halls, I am privy to the stories of catechists, teachers, ministers, and parents who strive for living Catholic virtues and who carry out their roles in meek and humble fashion. I board the planes that will take me back home heartened by their gentleness of heart and spirit. In their own way, they are claiming their inheritance not by force of power but by that of love, compassion, mercy, and understanding. It bodes well for the future of this good earth.
Read about a gentle saint, Saint John XXIII, and download activities for your home or parish.
Download my Prayer for Gentleness and use it in your home or parish as a way to reflect upon and embrace Jesus’ call to meekness.