“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.”
Among the Beatitudes in today’s Gospel passage, this one is probably the most difficult to live up to. This is, at least partially, because we have trouble knowing when we are making any progress. Could you say that you are more humble than you used to be? Wouldn’t that make you a bit too proud of your own progress?
Meekness is much the same, as it is very close in meaning to humility. But, we must also remember that both ideas can be taken too far. Just like humility can become shame, meekness can become weakness, unless we remember who we are and where we stand. To truly be meek, there is a quiet, unassuming confidence that must be present. This confidence is what allows us to remain meek when we might be haughty. To be meek we must be humble enough to accept the truth and confident enough to stand for the truth. We must be confident in knowing the truth and humble enough that we wouldn’t lord it over someone. We can only achieve this balance through knowing God, seeing ourselves as God does, and living out the love that this relationship calls us to.
Remember what St. Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians (the one you picked for your wedding):
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”
This is the best way to see meekness, through pure love, which desires the good of the one you love. A loving neighbor may simply state the truth to someone who is mistaken, but would not deride them for their error. A loving parent would gently guide their child away from harm, remaining calm while the child throws a tantrum. A loving child of God accepts the same gentle guidance from God, even when our hearts are bursting to throw a fit like a little child. The patience, humility, and gentleness that make up meekness can only really be known and lived out by loving and being loved.
The saints we celebrate today learned all of this through examples in their lives, which led them to know and love God, who perfected it in them. If we are to truly be meek in our lives, we must first see how our loving relationships are showing us true meekness. This is the love which God created us in shining forth, and leading us back to God, the source of it all. Then our lives may be perfected by God’s gentle hand guiding us. Then, in turn, our lives may point others back to God, just like all the saints before us.