Blessed Are the Meek, for They Shall Inherit the Land

Homilies in the Papal Household, 2nd Lenten Sermon, March 16, 2007, in the presence Pope Benedict XVI, Posted 04/07/07

P. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap (Pontifical Household Preacher)

The beatitudes are a self-portrait of Jesus and thus, we should not only imitate them but also make them our own.

Father Cantalamessa’s Lenten reflections have focused on the Eight Beatitudes; today’s was: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” To understand the full meaning of meekness, the Pontifical Household preacher underlined two constant associations of the Bible and ancient Christian exhortations: meekness and humility, and meekness and patience. One shows the interior dispositions from which meekness springs; the other the attitudes one should
have toward one’s neighbor: affability, gentleness, courtesy.

The Gospels are the demonstration of Christ’s meekness, in its dual aspect of humility and patience. The maximum proof of Christ’s meekness is in his passion. There is no wrath, there are no threats: When he was reviled he did not revile in return, when he suffered, he did not threaten. But Jesus did much more than give us an example of meekness and heroic patience; he made of meekness and nonviolence the sign of true greatness.

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