Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blessed are the Meek: they shall Inherit the Earth

A children’s hymn begins with the words, “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild…”, but I have to admit that the children don’t know what it is that they are singing. Neither do some of the artists who try to portray a meek Jesus and instead end up with something sentimental and effeminate.

There is nothing weak about meekness. The meek Jesus was able to stand up to the opposition of the scribes and the Pharisees. He stood before Herod and Pilate. He stretched out his hands and allowed himself to be nailed to the Cross. Meekness is associated with immense strength and courage, not of defencelessness and timidity.

One paraphrase of this Beatitude says, “Blessed are those who let God be God…” Perhaps that expresses something of its essence.

What does it mean to let God be God in my life?

For a start, it means trusting that God knows what is best for me. It means a commitment to follow him in good times, but also in bad, believing that whatever route he leads me will be for my ultimate happiness?

Life can be completely revolutionised by letting God be God. It’s so difficult and wearying when I try to do all the planning and to organise everything according to my own ideas. I find myself trapped inside my own head and within my own environment. I can’t escape from myself or my problems. Life becomes an endless struggle to put things right.

It might take courage, but in the end it’s so much easier to put everything in God’s hands and to trust that he knows best, whatever will happen. There will be times when the way ahead is anything but clear. It is obscure and frightening, as frightening as anything can be. There will be sleepless nights when I will wonder if God really does know what he’s doing because if I were God I wouldn’t do things in such-and-such a way. But that’s the whole point. I am NOT God. I don’t know best. He does. If I am prepared to take a deep breath and renew my resolve to trust in him, somehow things are not so frightening any more. I’m not alone. Gradually I will discover myself coping as I’d never done before, because I have the confidence that God is with me and in me.

Letting God be God in my life means becoming aware of what is right and wrong, both within me and outside in the society in which I live. It compels me to challenge both myself and my society to something more God-like. That can mean confronting injustice and evil in spite of serious personal consequences. Do I accept wrongdoing or do I challenge myself and others to a better life in the same way that Jesus did?

The consequence of Jesus’ meekness was crucifixion. Jesus did not have an easy life. He paid with his life for having confronted the evils of his time. The more closely I identify with the meek Jesus, the more likely I am to find that my way also leads to the Cross. Yet because Jesus allowed the Father to be the Father, the result was the Resurrection. If I am one with Jesus in his passion and death, I will also be one with him in his Resurrection. I shall also have the earth for my heritage.

God bless,
Sr. Janet