Sunday, March 9, 2014
Monday March 10, 2014 Matthew 5:5
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” --Matthew 5:5
What does it mean to be meek? I decided to do a “Tracy”, and look it up in the dictionary. Three definitions were provided:
1. humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
2. overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
3. (Obsolete) gentle; kind.
The second definition is what I formally thought of as being “meek.” And so I am especially struck by the first definition! Being humbly patient or docile with anyone who is trying to provoke is quite the challenge! In fact, I sit here, trying to think of a time when I was able to do such a thing—to sit by, and not react—when someone was purposely trying to upset or hassle me. I can, of course, think of times when a provoker was successful, and I reacted in kind: with negative energy, aimed back at the provoker, or worse, at an innocent third party. I can also think of times when I simply removed myself from the presence of the provoker, but I did so with a big show of annoyance.
There are a few times when I remember responding “meekly,” but interestingly, these situations were of a different sort altogether. In these situations, I was always in a position of less power than the person provoking me. This effectively left me without recourse to any sort of response. My only choice was to swallow whateverpunishment the more powerful person dished out. To respond in any way, and especially against that person, was to risk something big.
And this insight leads me to think that in this beatitude, Jesus is blessing folks in this type of situation. He is blessing a person without any power against a more powerful provoker. Perhaps this beatitude is not to be understood as something we should try to attain, but rather that we should know God to be most especially with folks who are on the losing side of a negative power dynamic. We are not necessarily called to be more “meek”; instead, we are told that these “meek” ones are notably blessed.