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The Beatitudes in Our Families: The Meek Shall Inherit

More on the Beatitudes (Matthew, Chapter 5) and our families.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

Jesus said that the meek are blessed, of course; and—get this—they will inherit the earth. That’s a big blessing. Maybe we ought to quickly figure out what being meek means so we can get a chunk of that really big inheritance!

Who are the meek? Meek is one translation of the Greek word, praus, used by Matthew here. It refers to a kind of inward attitude of being gentle, humble, unassuming. Others say the helpless, the disabled, those who have no power. Now we might use an English phrase like “having a gentle spirit.” The writer Jim Forest offers a lovely example of the meek in Mary’s response to the archangel Gabriel: Here I am, the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.

I would like to see us raise meek children. But the meek, as Pope Francis recently said, are not pushovers. We want them to be able to stand up for themselves and for others while being a gentle spirit. Humble, unassuming. Courteous, polite, respectful. Children who approach their peers from a lower position and not exerting power by being unkind or joining in when others are unkind. We can remind our children (and ourselves) that when we look down on others, God may well have a way to bring us down.

The meek shall inherit the earth. We often hear that our children are the future. Perhaps that is not very different from saying that they will inherit the earth. What world will we leave them to inherit? What earth? How well, as a society, are we caring for our children who are our future?


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