Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Today's Beatitude -- "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Mt 5:5) -- continues Jesus' tradition of transmuting lead into gold. Just as nobody wants to be poor and nobody wants to mourn, so nobody wants to be "meek." That's because we think of the meek as doormats and dartboards. We assume the meek are timid little people who scatter like mice when somebody of consequence clears his throat. But our Lord does not say "Blessed are the weenies." St. Joan of Arc was neither a weenie nor a wimp. Nor was St. Paul. Nor, of course, was Jesus.
That should be our first clue that to be meek is not to be a wimp. It is to be filled with the awesome power of the Holy Spirit; and to not be defined by earthly power. It is to know who you are, where you are coming from, and where you are going; as Jesus did. It is to be at home in your own skin and not to be afflicted with the itching envy of somebody else's life. It is to be free enough inside that lowliness is as easy as power since you are not defined by what you or anybody else owns or does or is. To be meek, in short, is to be free. And to be free is to find that the whole world is yours already, freely given by the Lord of heaven and earth -- as St. Francis knew.