Learning from Jesus to be meek and humble
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A (Mt 11:25-30)
July 9, 2017
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
SOME people take pride in their physical strength, beauty, wealth, power . . . . Not a few use these assets to put others down, subjugate, and exploit them.
With few exceptions, such has been the common attitude of innumerable gifted “great men,” especially military leaders, whose names are recorded in history books. Their triumphs and achievements have often been won at the price of immense sufferings inflicted on others. Their monuments tower over mounds of skeletons and skulls . . . .
Even in our days, arrogant individuals or nations humiliate and destroy others with their merciless greed and the urge to dominate. At the root of it all, there is the pride that sets creatures against their Creator and their fellow creatures.
Jesus Christ belongs to a different “school.” As he has done in other areas, he has inaugurated a totally new style of being “great” – a style characterized by simplicity, meekness, loving kindness, humble service . . . These are the basic attitudes that foster peace, make people feel at ease and bring out the best in them.
This is God’s style. Christ has learned it from the Father and has revealed it to his disciples (cf. Mt 11:27). He has made lowliness, meekness, the promotion of peace, and affirmation of one’s brethren vital constituents of the Beatitudes and of all his Gospel.
But Jesus is not just an inspiring Teacher. What he teaches he also puts into practice, as Zechariah had already prophesied when he said: “Your King shall come to you . . . meek . . . He shall proclaim peace to the nations” (Zec 9:9-10).
What Jesus teaches and practices is not meant to be an exception, but a pattern to be followed by all his disciples. “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).
His gentleness and humility have nothing in common with weakness. He is respectful of others without being slavish; firm, without being arrogant; ready to please and help, but with a proper sense of values and priorities. And what a difference this can make in society!
These qualities are exactly the opposite of what characterizes our society – pride, insatiable ambition, rivalry, treachery, oppressiveness, violence, exploitation . . . . As disciples of Jesus we must show in practice where our priorities lie. A disciple is one who has chosen to be like the Master: humble, meek, fair, promoter of peace and of people. Such must be our choice, too.