Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Catechesis on the Beatitudes: 4. Blessed are the meek
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In today's catechesis we deal with the third of the eight beatitudes of Matthew's Gospel: "Blessed are the meek because they will inherit the earth" (Mt 5: 5).
The term "mild" used here literally means sweet, gentle, gentle, free of violence. Meekness manifests itself in moments of conflict, you can see how you react to a hostile situation. Anyone might seem mild when everything is calm, but how does he react "under pressure" if he is attacked, offended, attacked?
In one passage, Saint Paul recalls "the sweetness and meekness of Christ" (2 Cor 10: 1). And St. Peter in turn recalls Jesus' attitude in the Passion: he did not respond and did not threaten, because "he entrusted himself to the one who judges with justice" (1 Pt 2,23). And the meekness of Jesus is strongly seen in his Passion.
In Scripture the word "meek" also indicates one who has no landed property; and therefore we are struck by the fact that the third beatitude says precisely that the meek "will inherit the earth".
In fact, this bliss quotes Psalm 37, which we listened to at the beginning of the catechesis. There, too, mildness and possession of the land are related. These two things, when you think about it, seem incompatible. In fact, possession of land is the typical area of conflict: one often fights for a territory, to obtain hegemony over a certain area. In wars the strongest prevails and conquers other lands.
But let's look carefully at the verb used to indicate the possession of myths: they do not conquer the earth; does not say "blessed are the myths because they will conquer the earth". They "inherit" it. Blessed are the myths because they will "inherit" the earth. In the scriptures, the verb "inherit" has an even greater sense. The People of God call the land of Israel, which is the Land of Promise, "inheritance".
That land is a promise and a gift for the people of God, and becomes a sign of something much bigger than a simple territory. There is a "land" - allow the play on words - that is Heaven, that is, the earth to which we walk: the new heavens and the new earth to which we go (cf. Is 65.17; 66.22; 2 Pt 3,13; Ap 21,1).
Then the meek is the one who "inherits" the most sublime of the territories. He is not a coward, a "weak" who finds a makeshift morality to stay out of trouble. Far from it! He is a person who has received an inheritance and does not want to disperse it. The meek is not an accommodating person but it is the disciple of Christ who has learned to defend quite another earth. He defends his peace, defends his relationship with God, defends his gifts, the gifts of God, preserving mercy, brotherhood, trust, hope. Because meek people are merciful, fraternal, confident people and people with hope.
Here we must mention the sin of anger, a violent movement whose impulse we all know. Who hasn't got angry sometimes? All. We must reverse bliss and ask ourselves a question: how many things have we destroyed with anger? How many things have we lost? A moment of anger can destroy many things; you lose control and do not evaluate what is really important, and you can ruin the relationship with a brother, sometimes without remedy. In anger, many brothers no longer talk to each other, they move away from each other. It is the opposite of mildness. Gentleness gathers, anger separates.
Gentleness is conquest of many things. Meekness is capable of winning the heart, saving friendships and much more, because people get angry but then calm down, rethink and retrace their steps, and so it can be rebuilt with mildness.
The "earth" to be conquered with mildness is the salvation of that brother of whom Matthew's Gospel speaks: "If he listens to you, you will have earned your brother" (Mt 18:15). There is no land more beautiful than the heart of others, there is no more beautiful territory to be gained than the peace found with a brother. And that is the land to be inherited with mildness!
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins venus de France et d’autres pays francophones, en particulier les diocésains du Mans avec Mgr Yves Le Saux, les diocésains de Bourges avec Mgr Jérôme Beau, les représentants de la Confédération française des travailleurs chrétiens, ainsi que les jeunes et les pèlerins de plusieurs paroisses. Chers frères et sœurs, je vous invite à demander à Dieu de nous faire le don de la douceur pour construire ensemble un monde plus fraternel. Que Dieu vous bénisse.
[I cordially greet the pilgrims from France and other French-speaking countries, in particular those from the Dioceses of Le Mans, with Msgr. Yves Le Saux, and from Bourges, with Msgr. Jérôme Beau, the representatives of the French Confederation of Christian Workers as well as young people and pilgrims from different parishes. Dear brothers and sisters, I invite you to ask God to give you the gift of meekness to build a more fraternal world together. God bless you.]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Norway, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and the United States of America. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache, besonders an die verschiedenen Schülergruppen. Willkommen! Der Heilige Geist leite uns an, die Welt mit den Augen Gottes zu sehen und den Mitmenschen mit der Sanftmut des Herzens Gottes zu begegnen. Euch allen einen guten Aufenthalt in Rom!
[I extend a cordial greeting to the German-speaking pilgrims, in particular to the various school groups. Welcome! May the Holy Spirit teach us to look to the world with the eyes of God and to treat our brothers and sisters with the gentleness of His heart. Enjoy your stay in Rome!]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. Pidamos al Señor que nos ayude a ser mansos y humildes de corazón, y a reconocer los momentos en que perdemos la calma para que, con la gracia del Señor, podamos volver a encontrar y a construir la paz. Que Dios los bendiga.
De coração saúdo os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular vós vindos de Portugal e do Brasil, encorajando-vos a ser por todo o lado testemunhas de esperança e caridade. E, se alguma vez tiverdes de enfrentar situações que vos turvam a alma, ide procurar refúgio sob o manto da Santa Mãe de Deus; lá encontrareis paz e mansidão. Sobre vós e vossas famílias desça a Bênção do Senhor!
[I warmly greet the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, especially you who have come from Portugal and Brazil, and I encourage you to be witnesses of hope and charity everywhere. And, if sometimes you have to face situations that upset your soul, go to seek refuge under the mantle of the Holy Mother of God; there you will find peace and mildness. May the Blessing of the Lord descend on you and your families.]
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً القادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. إنّ الانسان الوديع هو الانسان الهادئ والطيّب والبسيط والمطيع والمسالم، يُحسن معاملة الناس ولا يُخاصم أحدًا. هذه الصفات تجعله محبوبًا من جميع الناس، لأنه يعيش معهم في سلام وهدوء. وبالتالي، إضافة إلى ملكوت الله، إنه يرث الأرض أيضًا. ليبارككُم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! The meek man is the calm, kind, simple, obedient and peaceful man who treats people well and does not argue with anyone. Such traits make him lovable by all people, because he lives with them in peace and quiet. So in addition to the kingdom of God, he also inherits the earth. The Lord bless you!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, cichość, o której mówimy dzisiaj, może zapanować w sercu i przezwyciężyć gniew, ocalić przyjaźnie i odbudować relacje wystawione na próbę przez ambicje i ducha rywalizacji. Pamiętajcie zawsze o zaproszeniu Pana Jezusa: „uczcie się ode Mnie, bo jestem cichy i pokorny sercem, a znajdziecie ukojenie dla dusz waszych” (Mt 11, 29). Z serca wam błogosławię. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, meekness, of which we speak today, is capable of overcoming the heart and defeating anger, saving friendships and rebuilding relationships tested by ambitions and the spirit of rivalry. Always remember the invitation of the Lord Jesus: "Learn from me, who am meek and humble of heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls" (Mt 11, 29). I cordially bless you. Praised be Jesus Christ!]
I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking faithful. In particular, I greet the men and women religious; parish groups; and the delegation of the Benedictine Torch, with the Archbishop of Spoleto-Norcia, Mons. Renato Boccardo and the Abbot of Montecassino, Dom Donato Ogliari.
I also greet the Command Brigade Aosta, of Messina; the Italian Society of Odontostomatology for the handicapped; and the pediatric ward of the National Cancer Institute of Milan.
Lastly, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. Trust the Lord and strive to enter into his designs, accepting that his salvation may come to us by ways other than those which we would expect.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation